Pursuit of Wisdom & Happiness
I often tell my daughters to be wise, to stop a moment and think so that they can make good decisions. Note that they are both teens, so the “stop a moment to think” part is rather important considering the typical teenager’s brain.
But can they ever truly obtain wisdom? Can any of us? Or is it instead something we strive for, continuously? Is it the pursuit itself that is important – the journey toward the destination that might never be reached?
I was recently reading something by Dr. Adler discussing the “goods of the mind” as being information, knowledge, understanding, and the pursuit of wisdom. I found it interesting that he did not indicate simply “wisdom” or “obtaining wisdom” but instead the pursuit.
It reminded me of the movie “Pursuit of Happiness.” Have you seen this movie? If so, do you remember when the main character’s narration was reflecting on the phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?” He noted that instead of saying one has a right to happiness, one has a right to the pursuit of happiness.
We might recall moments of feeling happiness, perhaps even feeling happy now. Perhaps we have made wise decisions in the past, or we might currently feel wise. Does that be we *are* wise? Do we ever become “happiness” or “wisdom?”
Even if not, it seems foolish (unwise?) to suggest that one stop reaching for happiness and wisdom. Avoiding an entitlement attitude of the self-proclaimed victim, one realizes that happiness, wisdom, and similar states are not to be delivered on a silver platter. Instead, we each have the right to the pursuit – and it is up to each of us as to what to do with that.
The power is in each of us.