To many people the epitome of wisdom is displayed by the Dalai Lama (who I met in Edinburgh) I was struck by his great aura of calm and his well-known mantra ‘every problem in the world an be solved by people sitting round a table and talking’. How simple yet so profound. Churchill was supposed to have declared ‘jaw jaw is better than war war’. We know this didn’t happen!
Those people with a strong religious belief credit their God with being the found of all wisdom -though little of this seems to be working in wired world of today when absolutely every event in life, whether personal or national seems to be sent round the world by means of social media.
So how do we apply the external definitions to our own inner wisdom? Thus far in my own life’s journey I sometimes believe and have used ‘inner wisdom. My careers in education, politics relationship counselling and justice, as well as raising a family and writing have all taught me to look inside myself to try and find answers to issues being faced not just by me but by others, with a varying degree of success.
During the last eleven years my mother – who I have always thought of as wise, died at the age of 92 after being a widow for 40 years, followed two years later by my darling husband John after 30 years together then four years after that my darling step-son, Christopher who was one of those men who went around the world ‘doing good ‘whether in Africa, the far East or nearer home. He died suddenly of a massive heart attack at the gym where had had gone with his lovely daughter, Francesca. I had to draw deeply on what inner wisdom I had developed to try to work out any sense of these events. I am writing about this because these events somehow made me stronger. I began to think maybe resilience and inner wisdom is closely related.
Then, again how do we judge our own inner wisdom and that of others? Do we have any benchmarks? One of my jobs for five years was serving as a JP and magistrate in the Edinburgh District Council. I managed to bring in a training programme before anyone could, in this capacity, judge others. I believe than as we were alone on the bench in our court dispensing ‘summary justice which is a huge responsibility at every level. As I have tried to indicate I believe we all have our idea of what constitutes inner wisdom and I wanted to use mine to the best of my ability. I always insisted on robust evidence on both sides. I learned a lot, some of it not suitable to be recorded here! So applied what I achieved to developing my own inner wisdom and using it.
I don’t want to sound prissy or conceited but I believe that inner wisdom is there to be used. My late step mother-in-law, who was very wise was very fond of a quote from Hilaire Belloc. So I will end with that
‘From quiet homes and first beginning, out to the undiscovered ends, there’s nothing worth the wear of winning save laughter and the love of friends.’