#Reverb10 is a movement to encourage folks to tackle a daily prompt with the intent of reflecting on their year. If you’d like to get involved, it’s not too late! You can backtrack to previous prompts or simply jump in where you are. If you’re interested, you can see all my #reverb10 posts here.
Dec. 10: Wisdom: What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)
I’m having a heck of a time with this one. I mean, I feel as if I’ve made a number of good decisions this past year, but can any of them be called truly “wise”? There’s a difference between knowledge and wisdom. I’m good at operating with knowledge. I do my research, gather my resources, and make the best possible decision with the information I have available. But “wisdom” implies some intuitive hint of the unknown, a certain mysticism that drives us toward something without a concrete reason to support it. Maybe I’m overthinking this, but hey, that’s what I do.
When I asked a couple of my friends what my wisest decision of the year might be, I got the following responses.
From Matt and full of snark: “Writing [redacted] a letter. Changing your diet/exercise before you became anorexic. Not getting lost in Paris and never coming home. Buying those really awesome impractical shoes.”
From Brittany: Taking active control of my health/fitness (which I said didn’t count because I technically made that decision in 2009), going back to London a second time alone (though she added, “although some might consider that not so wise”), and “something like, ‘this moment might seem like it was stupid but it was actually wise because…and that’s how most things go in my life” (which leads me to believe that Brittany spends a lot of time snickering at me behind my back).
So, while I do think I’ve made some good decisions this year (writing & directing a short film, going to Paris, going to London twice, focusing all year long on improving my health & fitness, etc.), it’s hard to pinpoint if any single decision has that ephemeral, hard-to-capture essence of true wisdom. I like to think that some seemingly insignificant decision, or even something that, as Brittany suggested, seemed silly at the time, was in fact wise in the end.
Maybe the decision to buy those impractical but awesome shoes I’ve yet to have an occasion to wear will turn out to be full of wisdom in the end. Perhaps the decision to pursue a certain project will yield unimagined results, whether through insight or, knock on wood, some sort of success. Maybe a connection forged during the year, be it a chance meeting or a friendship old or new, will prove wise beyond what I can currently perceive.
That’s part of the magic of true wisdom; it often can’t be recognized until long after the initial moment has passed.