When I think of wisdom, I am reminded of the second-grade student who raised his hand in class to ask his teacher a question. “What did I learn today?” the boy inquired as the teacher was ending her session on basic math.
“That’s an odd question, Johnny,” the teacher replied. “Why would you ask me that question?”
“Because that is what my parents will ask me when I get home,” Johnny replied.
Little Johnny, at the tender age of 8, knew something that many adults have forgotten. He knew that life is a continual learning process and that learning must be ongoing if intend to “grow.” I’m not talking about physical growth here, because physical growth is automatic. Johnny was already physically larger than he was when he started the first grade, just a year earlier, and you and I are a lot bigger today than we were when we were Johnny’s age, even though we did nothing to cause that growth. But mental, spiritual, and social growth does not occur spontaneously. Growth in these important areas of life requires a deliberate effort. And while some people grow in these important respects, most, unfortunately, don’t.
Unlike physical growth, mental growth depends upon the individual. Physically, you will only be a second-grader during one year of your life and then you will continue to march toward adulthood. But unless you make a conscious effort to grow in the area of your mind and your heart, you can remain immature and ignorant forever. Unless you consciously take action to grow in knowledge and wisdom (the application of knowledge), you can remain mentally and emotionally impaired for the rest of your life.
Johnny went to school because he needed to grow in knowledge and wisdom. School did not help him to grow physically. So do something. Just as Johnny did something every day to advance his education, so you must do something to obtain wisdom.
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