Sunday, August 11, 2013

for Paul H. Ray



“Creating a global wisdom culture.”  What might that mean?  More fundamentally: what is wisdom?  What does it mean to be wise?

We probably know wisdom when we see it and exclaim, “That was the wise thing to do” or “That was wise behavior or a wise attitude or perspective,” meaning that some other alternative would be ill-considered, erratic or stupid, and thus proving less valuable than the outcome of a wise choice.  Wise choices bring valuable results.

Therefore, a global wisdom culture would cultivate and grow the best harvest of benefits for all.

By that measure, prevailing human cultures in the 21st century are less than wise, but rather cause much harm to human beings, to other creatures, and to the viability of the planet at large.  We might more aptly dub ourselves Homo errans than Homo sapiens.

True, we are prone to error, legendarily fallible—born broken, some traditions proclaim—but yet redeemable, we may hope, tractable to wiser discernments and behaviors.  And that would be the point of learning to make wise choices and take wise courses of action.  We can do better than we have done, and the world now urgently needs us to do so.