Thursday, May 9, 2024

"It's hard to put a price on Wisdom!"

 Over the past few weeks, and probably more candidly over the past few months, I have been going though quite a transition.  As you can see in earlier essays, I "retired" from Bolthouse Farms early in the year, and over the past few months I have been actively working to transition my headset, schedule and indeed my lifestyle away from being a Senior Executive in a large private company based in California     (and commuting weekly to Bakersfield Ca. as part of that role) to changing gears in a big way to be focused on my family, my community here in Atlanta, and to head toward new paths for the chapters of my life that lie ahead.  I have travelled across country with my daughter Marie on an incredible roadtrip that I reflected on in a previous essay (######), travelled to see old friends across the country ( wonderful across the board) and most recently just came back from walking the last 100km off the Camino inn Spain with my wife Jennie, my sister Alice and her husband Jan Willem.  I am still processing that trip deeply and when I am done "churning," I am certain that I will post an essay about our time on the Camino.  With that precursor, I have been hit by few moments recently that keeps me turning towards this idea of "Wisdom" and I wanted to explore it today.

Over my life, I have been around a number of people that I would describe as "wise," some from my professional life ( certainly my old boss Bruce that I have written about extensively on this blog) and from my family ( certainly my paternal grandmother... dear old Mama... also mentioned widely across the blog) and I have "chewed" on the idea of what makes these two VERY different people both so "wise?"  It's not their backgrounds, education, lifestyles, etc.... all of those "definers" are so very distinct, but they were      (both now passed) both so "wise" in my eyes and I still very actively think about them both and often wonder what they would do in situation that I am facing today.  Let's dig a little deeper to help our understanding.

Wisdom: noun, the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.

Knowledge: noun, facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

Intelligence: noun, the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.

The unique factor that I see in the respective definitions is the implied idea of combining and applying "experience, knowledge, and good judgement."  It's rings so true that both Mama and Bruce brought these three ideas to life personally, in the actions of their lives, and in their impact on my life.  I LEARNED a lot from both of them and as I reflect on it today, I want to "live into" being a source of wisdom for those I touch.  This idea of combining and applying "experience, knowledge and good judgement" is a powerful driver for me personally as I turn toward the next chapter of my life...and maybe an aspiration for all of us regardless of what chapter of life we may be in today!

p.s. I put the title of this essay in quotes because it came from a shuttle bus driver at the Atlanta airport.  After returning from our trip to the Camino, and after a very long day of travel, we cleared customs at ATL, and boarded a shuttle bus to head to International "Park & Ride."  Our luggage didn't make it, so we were traveling light, but our fellow travelers had some large and very heavy bags.  The driver of the shuttle bus, with a smile on his face, asked for the heavy bags to be set on the floor, so he could just slide them into the rack, and to put the lighter bags higher on the luggage rack.  As he said that, he looked over to me ( the only other person in his same age range, the other travelers were all much younger) and said that "guys like us have to save our backs whenever we can....remember... its hard to put a price on wisdom!!!"  An incredible line from late last Saturday night, and one that really got me thinking!!