Yesterday we took our daughter on her final, final college visit, the one that cements the decision to attend the college that had your heart all along, and that seems the right fit for you. As I sat on the bench in the sunshine with my wife, waiting for Katie to emerge from a dormitory, I recognized what a crossroads these moments are. My daughter is making decisions that will affect her for the rest of her life. The stakes are higher than they used to be for her and, for the most part, the stakes will remain relatively high for the rest of her life.
Katie is a unique and wonderful girl, and I am confident that hers will be a life that greatly impacts people for good. We have been blessed to raise her for the past eighteen years, but being on campus with her reminded me how much she will need wisdom in the years ahead to make good choices. As a dad, my tendency is to protect my children and to minimize risk in their lives. As a business professor, looking around on that campus, I thought to myself, “Higher risk, higher return.”
But the truth is that every day we are making decisions that require significant wisdom and that will affect future decisions and opportunities. The decision to write this column has helped me more effectively wrestle with some of these issues rather than avoiding them. Teaching ethics helps as well. But there is nothing in life like raising children that makes me truly want to understand what it is to be wise. And it makes me want to help my daughter live wisely as well.
This search for wisdom will likely be a regular theme of this column in the months ahead. Though people disagree over what wisdom means, most people seem to recognize it when they see it. It involves, at a minimum, being teachable and listening to those with more insight than you have. It also involves developing a long-term perspective, rather than just looking at short-term pleasure or returns. In other words, there is not much wisdom in the business world nowadays.
We are susceptible to certain fallacies in thinking that short-circuit wisdom, and I will talk about some of these in the weeks ahead. One of the most common ones among college students is a sense of invulnerability that makes them believe that the crushing consequences of others’ decisions could never happen to them. Practically every day we read about middle-aged men like me or star athletes who have fallen prey to that same fallacy.
But today, as a dad, I sit here quietly praying for my daughter to be wise, and to choose well. A great adventure lies ahead of her. May she ignore the siren song that calls her to the rocks. May she have courage to live by the values she has learned and embraced. And may God’s grace blow full in the sails that call her to her destiny.
I am sure you have heard the definition of wisdom as skill in living. Suggestion–ask your readers what kinds of wisdom they need after you share your own needs. Looking forward to your future posts.
Wisdom to understand evil and God’s reality in the midst of it is a biggie.
As you have mentioned before, we are all searching for truth whether we want to admit it or not. In my opinion, the search for wisdom and truth are one in the same, because we are not able to gain a higher wisdom without first finding truth in something. That in turn, puts even more importance on the search for truth. Through my experiences in college I have learned that you are able to find truth through different mediums, whether it be from a close friend, an honest family member, religious studies or education. We just have to be ready to accept it whenever it’s in front of our face.
This post moves me in many ways. First of all, I remember my visit to Texas A&M with my dad there and truly it could not have been better. At the time I did not realize the importance of his attendance with me but I look back and thank the Lord for an awesome Dad that puts his wisdom in my life by silent existence at important events in my life. Secondly, the wisdom that lies ahead of your daughter and the future that awaits her is a gift from God. Wherever she may go, the people she encounters whether that may be professors, mentors, friends or strangers will definitely imprint their morals and ethical judgements upon her to learn from and realize the importance of standing by her own.
From a the perspective of a young adult, the seeking of wisdom plays a very important part in molding my future. It is through wisdom that I achieve a better understanding of the world, myself, and the impact that I want to make in the world. The entire process of college, or any type of higher education, is crucial because it tests not only your knowledge of the subject matter but your perseverance and work ethic. Each decision that you make throughout these four years will impact who you become as well as affect the kind of person you ideally WANT to become. However, it is in the work environment and your professional career in which you will test your integrity; and that’s where the REALLY hard decisions have to be made.
I believe that one of the greatest sources about what wisdom really means is in the book of Proverbs in the Bible. Throughout the chapters it states over and over that wisdom is much more precious that rubies and gold. The following is a quote from Proverbs 3: 13 – 18.
“Blessed is the man that finds wisdom, and is rich in prudence. The purchasing thereof is better than the merchandise of silver, and her fruit than the chief and purest gold. She is more precious than all riches and all the things that are desired, are not to be compared to her. Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and glory.
Her ways are beautiful ways, and all her paths are peaceable. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her: and he that shall retain her is blessed. ”
Wisdom is something that I think prolongs our life and makes us happier throughout it. We could all probably use a little more wisdom, especially in this time in our life where we are making such big decisions.
I think wisdom is something that many in my generation take for granted. We have grown up in a world where everything is at our fingertips. We want material things, and we want them now. And we dont even think about where they are coming from. But when I stop and think about what wisdom truly means, I think of my grandparents. I dont remember the last time my grandmother used a microwave. She thinks they ruin food. She enjoys the experience of cooking and it brings her joy to be able to feed her family. Her and her husband were so poor when they first got married they lived in a one bedroom apartment, and rented out the bedroom! I think the things you learn during experiences like those are timeless, and I love to hear different pearls of wisdom they have learned throughout those times in their lives. I dont think that the wisdom my brother and I learned from gameboys and the internet comes anywhere close to those learned by those older than us.
I don’t think any amount of wisdom could have prepared me for my first year of college. What was important though was realizing my values amidst everything I was exposed to, which helped me make some really tough decisions. The wisdom came when I stayed true to myself and found what worked. Even after an internship, my guess is starting off full time at a new job after graduation will place me in a similar situation. I’m confident that A&M is preparing me to make the tough decisions, just like you’re confident you prepared your daughter adequately for college.
I believe you find wisdom through your peers. As much as parents like to help, it seems that a kid’s peers have the ultimate affect on the child. I have no experience parenting, but from looking at my friends, it seems the best way to help your kid succeed in life is helping them establish their values. A parent can only tell their kid yes and no for so long, but what ultimately matters is the fact that kid will be wise enough to make the correct choice on their own.
In light of our current class discussions, I was moved by your comment that there is not much wisdom in the business world today. Through learning about Enron, Worldcom and various other financial catastrophes, I agree that there are many companies that are simply looking at the short-run pleasures and effects of their decisions as opposed to taking on healthier long-term approaches. For example, Enron’s cut-throat culture and greed, rank-and-yank employee philosophy, and desire to do anything to stay at the top ultimately led to their downfall. If some of the Enron leaders had taken the time to thoughtfully think about the future consequences of their decisions as well as think about long-term company strategy, they might still be operating today.
As a soon to be graduate on the verge of entering the business world, I sincerely hope for a wiser corporate culture that makes better decisions than those that have been made in the past. However, I think that the lack of wisdom in the business culture today makes the role of individual wisdom that much more important. It really is up to us as individuals to enter the business world with a set standard of principles and values that will help guide our professional careers in integrity and truth. These principles and values will help us to make wise individual, business, and spiritual decisions despite the current business culture of short term gratitude. If enough young people go out to the business world and take on this philosophy then maybe we can make a wiser business community in the future.
I think wisdom should be a constant goal for every individual, especially those on the brink of starting a career in the business world. We should never stop seeking out knowledge and wisdom that can help us become more complete, responsible people.
This is also the topic of one my favorite biblical stories… King Solomon. When he could have asked God for anything in the world, he asked for wisdom. God was very pleased with his request and granted him more wisdom than anyone can ever imagine… while this wisdom eventually played a roll in King Solomon’s downfall I think we can learn a great deal from his initial request. What could be more potent for a king than wisdom? Wisdom to envision the long-term future, wisdom to understand his people, and wisdom make decisions for an entire nation. Switch the term king to CEO and you then have a situation that some of us may encounter in the future. A CEO who constantly seeks wisdom is the kind of CEO that I would want to be.
I feel that wisdom is something everyone searches for, but for the most part goes unanswered. In my experience, usually when you have gained wisdom is from when you experience something or know someone close to you that has experienced it. It is very easy to say you learned from some mistake someone made thousands of years ago, but there’s a reason we continue to make the same mistakes that our forefathers have made before us, its because we, as a society, tends to ignore lessons that we have learned growing up and would have easily avoided. I’m not saying this is the case for all people, but I have noticed the tendency for history to repeat itself in society as well as in my group of friends. In fact, I am at fault for not paying careful attention to a lease contract and assuming that the world looks out for people who try to do good, but instead I was returned with the fact that the apartment complex I lived at during my internship bled me dry of one extra month’s rent just because I was too naive to fully read and question their lease. However, now that I have experienced this, I will never take an important document lightly again.
I believe that the topic of wisdom can be very controversial as everyone has different ideas of what it entails. To me, I think of wisdom as something that grows deeper with age and experiences. And I feel that most of the time, the person in the room who has made the most mistakes is often the wisest. Wisdom can only be ‘taught’ to a certain extent–the majority is gained through one’s individual experiences. Personally, I feel as if I have gained wisdom from my parents, grandparents, peers, church, etc–through their experiences and even simply through conversations.
I remember the when I was visiting colleges and getting ready for that big step in my life. I wonder what my dad was thinking with each of our campus visits. I wish the best of luck to you and your daughter as she begins this exciting, new chapter in her life.
I agree that there are so many new choices that must be made when attending college and there are so many wrong paths that people can go down. Having wisdom comes with experience and hopefully through your experiences, you have imparted some wisdom on your daughter. I know that is the wish of my dad and I think of most everyone’s dads. I think when I graduated high school, I thought I knew everything and that my parents were stupid. It took some growing up in college and some of my dad’s wisdom that even got me to A&M. I don’t know where I would be if I had gone to that “other school” in Texas. I think parent’s wisdom and experience will help their children grow and experience things that will allow them to have a greater wisdom. Experiencing the wrong things would maybe help in the long run, but can still have terrible consequences. I hope the my dad will continue to impart his wisdom upon me as I move into the real world and the you will continue to do so for your daughter. If she is like any of us, she will definitely appreciate it down the road.
Wisdom is something that comes with time and life experience. I feel that we become wise by simply listening to the life experiences of others. For example, my grandmother is 74 years old. She has experienced so much in life. Whether it be good or bad, I listen to the stories she tells me, how she handled certain situations, and what she learned from them. She may have experienced things in life that I may never experience in my lifetime. Some of the dilemmas I encounter can be dealt with by simply using the wisdom gained from others in helping me to make good choices. However, some situations must be handled by using my own judgment. This is when my religion, family values and my own moral compass become a big factor in making good choices. All in all, I’m sure you’ve equipped your daughter with the tools she needs to make some good decisions in life.
The idea of wisdom can be complex. I think many of us have known people who are surrounded by wisdom, wisdom at home and in their lives and influences, but who consciously choose to do things that conflict with that background. But at the same time, many of us know someone who came from a less than desireable background but, of their own accord, cultivated wisdom.
It seems like wisdom, like many other things in life, is at least partially a choice. We choose to surround ourselves with certain people or engage in certain activities above others. These choices change our lives and it is those changes that cultivate wisdom.
College is a time of many changes, and I feel that a certain degree of wisdom comes from that. But, we’ve still got a long way to go.
After reading this article, the first thing that came to my mind was:
“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding, for understanding is more profitable than silver and yields a better return than gold.” Proverbs 3:13-14
So many people in this world think that the more expensive possessions that they own, the further in life they will be. Whereas I believe that wisdom is one of the most profitable things someone can display. My grandfather was a very wise man. He grew up in the depression and fought in World War II, so I know that his family was not wealthy when he was younger. He has experienced so much in his life, and it is through all these experiences that he gained his wisdom, not through possessions. Even though I do not have the same background that my grandfather did, I hope to become a wise person that people can look up too.
I have to agree that the business world is definitely not the first place to search for wisdom nowadays. In order to exercise wisdom there are times when we need to forfeit profit, which is something that the business world is not ready for. I noticed from my observations that wisdom is something that is passed on from one to another and it is a component of our integrity. Wisdom comes from the people that you look up to and the leaders of the community. As professionals (leaders of the business world) not only must we seek wisdom but also be an advocate of wisdom.
Rydia, I like your comment that wisdom is at least partially a choice. Carter, I would like to meet your grandfather. tkfkd0921 has raised the idea of being advocates of wisdom. How do we do that?
I also thought about the Bible verse that Carter shared in this blog. The first year of college is a scary time for students, but I can only imagine how scary it is for parents. There are so many things that change and so many different ways to handle all the changes. This is the first true test of character in my opinion. I grew up in a really small town; one of those towns that everyone knows everything about everyone in the town. My parents would know if I did something wrong before I even got home. In a setting like that it’s easy to always do the right thing because everyone that you care about is going to know if you mess up. Coming to college was a different story. For the first time in my life, I was faced with decisions that my friends and family back home would know nothing about. I had to choose whether to continue my honest and open relationship with my loved ones, or go and live the crazy college life that I saw many around me living. At this moment, I looked at all the people in my life, my family, my friends from back home, and my new friends here. I had always wanted to be like some of the people in my life because they seemed so wise. Others, I wanted to do everything I could to keep from making the same mistakes. I didn’t realize it then, but I was seeking wisdom to make the right choice.
Good insight, Kayla. It is scary for parents. I’m sending a daughter off in a few months, and it will be the first true test of her character. I think I would be fine, except there will be boys there. That is a problem.
I agree that being teachable and willing to listen definitely are part of the search for wisdom, but I feel that personal experience is the ultimate factor. Just like in any profession, there is no substitute for experience. You could graduate with a 4.0 and a masters, but you still are going to take the advice from your boss who has worked there for years. I feel that wisdom comes from learning from your mistakes, and making sure not to repeat them. It’s a life-long process. It’s like the expression “you learn something new every day.” It sucks, but unfortunately we will all face some very difficult decisions and situations, especially Dr. Shaub’s daughter as a freshman in college, and it takes looking back on how we acted in these situations to truly learn from them and gain wisdom.
I believe that during our youth, especially during high school and college, is an extremely important time for us to receive wisdom and guidance. I know that if my parents hadn’t raised me the way they did, I could have struggled with being a good and moral person in college. I would have gone to college thinking that the way other students acted was the right way to act. I am so thankful that I have them as role models and that they care about me enough to guide me. Sadly, not everyone is fortunate to have role models or wise people in their lives. As a member of HOSTS at Branch Elementary, I saw numerous children whose parents neglect them or even abuse them, and I am so sad to know that some kids might never have someone to guide them down the right path in life. On the other hand, I am very happy that there are programs like HOSTS and many others that were created for the sole purpose of interacting with these kids and to give them role models to look up to.
After reading this blog, I completely agree that a wise person is one who realizes that there is always more to learn, and is constantly listening to those around them. However, I think it is important to remember that wisdom can be from various sources. As mentioned in the blog, a wise person is someone who is willing to listen, but in order to attain wisdom we must submerge ourselves around wise people. For example, I know that much of the wisdom I have has been past down from my parents who were always trying to teach me as I grew up. Once I left for college, my parents stressed to me the importance of finding good friends. I know that any of the wisdom I have gained while in school is either from my roommates, my friends, or my professors. On a more personal note, I believe that ultimate wisdom comes from God alone. In Proverbs it says, “let the wise listen and add to their learning,” and I believe we have already established that this is one of the first steps in attaining wisdom.
Growing up is a scary thing. All of my life I feel like I have been in a hurry to grow up, but now that I am here I am wishing for life to slow down a little. I’m sure that Katie will have these thoughts multiple times in the next couple of months as she prepares to leave the nest and go to college. Decisions and life in general are easier when your young, and now as she starts a new chapter of her life she’s probably having the same fears that you have for her. There has been multiple times in college that I have just wished that my dad could just come to the rescue and fix the mess that I had gotten myself into, and I’m sure there was a lot of times that he wished he could just like you want to. I’m a strong believer that wisdom comes with age. You become wise by making decisions and learning from those decisions, whether they were right or wrong. Or you learn by watching other people make right or wrong decisions and seeing the consequences that they suffered. As a parent all you can do is pray that you have helped to ensure a strong moral compus in your daughter, and make sure that she knows that she can come to you for anything. As a child I can look at my parents and see how hard it has been to let me grow up and be on my own for the last few years. I’m sure they have wanted to step in and make multiple decisions for me, and I’m sure that will not change the older I get. Even though I don’t always know what is right or wrong in some situations, I am confident in the fact that the lessons that I learned as a child will stick with me forever and help me make difficult decisions as they come at me. I’m sure that Katie is the same way.
“He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”
I reflect on the guidance I have received throughout my life, and I have been advised by many very wise people. Wisdom, however, is truly lost on me when I surround myself with people who do not uphold the same values I have. Somehow (perhaps the invulnerability fallacy) I convince myself that I can be different, better than those around me. I, without exception, fail.
As such, I think perhaps the quest for wisdom is never-ending. If you are not growing in wisdom, you are becoming increasingly liable to act like a fool.
I believe that wisdom is something that we all seek for in life and each one of us finds it in a different place. For me there are three main sources I look at for wisdom when making a significant decision. For me I seek wisdom from the Bible, prayer, and from the opinions of those close to me. The one I would like to discuss here is gaining wisdom from those close to me, as everyone can relate to this. Many times we face situations and circumstances which those close to us have already faced. We always say learn from our past experiences but why can’t we learn from those close to us.
In personal terms I believe that the ultimate source of wisdom in my life is from the Bible. No matter what the source wisdom is something that each one of us should seek in order to help us make educated decisions which will greatly affect our lives.
I love that we all get to comment on wisdom at the ripe ole’ age of 21 and 22. I myself am looking for wisdom. I have a million wonderful resources, that many of you have mentioned such as faith and family. However, I can never seem to get enough. It is almost funny to contemplate how my wisdom has grown so much in the past 4 years of college and semi-adulthood; then I compare it to how far away I am from my parents, grandparents, and mentors. I am slowly acquiring wisdom as I need it, which is how I feel your daughter will do it, Dr. Shaub. God puts people and experiences in our lives for a reason. He teaches us and molds us as we grow, and gives us wisdom to use for the things he places in our paths. I for one look forward to being old and wise, but I am looking forward to the journey and the learning even more. I would not be any level of wise if I didn’t recognize how much more I have to learn and grow.
Reading this blog reminds me of the bible story of King Solomon. Instead of praying to the Lord for riches, health, or safety, he prayed for wisdom. Because this was the cry of his heart, God not only granted his request but also blessed him with everything he didn’t ask for. Now I do not think that this is always the case, but I do believe this shows the majesty and heart of the Lord. I also think iIt takes a wise man/ women to realize the need and importance of wisdom.
How the business world might be different if the cry of our hearts was for wisdom instead of wealth or security. How might our actions be different? And, how might we be effected if the leader of our companies lead in such a manner.
I had the pleasure of meeting your daughter Katie at your dinner. She was such a cheerful, happy young lady that has a lot going for her in life. I feel confident that you have instilled in her some of the great wisdom that you have instilled in your students.
I agree with you that wisdom involves being teachable and listening to those with more insight than you have. I believe another key part of wisdom involves being able to learn from your mistakes. If we can learn from our mistakes, we will be able to develop and grow into a wiser person.
We all strive to be full of wisdom- to know what to do in every situation that presents itself. Unfortunately, I believe that most of the time it is a matter of trial and error. Parents can instill great morals and ethics into their children, but without that child every needing to put those practical words into action, they are nothing but words. As we mature and recognize that we, in fact, dont know everything that we thought that we did, we are able to open our hearts and minds up and learn from the people around us that have more experiences than we do.
I agree with others that wisdom continues to grow with age. I thought I knew everything and would not need my parents very often throughout college. However, I was wrong I did not know everything, which I learned during my freshman year. My parents were smarter than I gave them credit for growing up. College is an imperative part of life where we can learn from our decisions and the mistakes that go with them. Also, I think college is a very important place to grow in wisdom in order to prepare you for the business world. Since I have been at college, I have seen myself grow, mature, and develop a little more wisdom than I had coming in. I think wisdom comes from the people we surround our self with, our family and friends, and religious beliefs. I know that throughout my life I will continue to seek wisdom from other including my bosses and coworkers when I go into the real world.
I definitely agree with you when you say that many college students feel a sense of invulnerability and believe “it will never happen to me.” I have been suscepted to this fallacy during my time as a college student quite a few times. I guess this is an indicator that people are bad consequence calculators. There have been many times where I have weighted the consequences and definitely weighted them incorrectly. I’m not invincible and every decision I make has a consequence that not only affects me, but affects others. As I get a little older and surround myself with wise people who I look up to, I find myself not suscepting myself to this misconception. I feel like I have learned from my mistakes and hopefully in the future I will use my wisdom and seek out wisdom from others to make the right decisions.
I think wisdom is something that many of us take for grant it in our socitey today. I love how you said it involves “being teachable and listening to those with more insight than you”. I think when you think of it that way, you can gain wisdom from every person you encounter. Every person in this world has been blessed with qualities that are unique and if we open our hearts to accept these differences, I believe we end up a better, wiser person. I love the quote, “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.” I believe this is very true. We need to remember to always be willing to open our hearts and search for wisdom. I think with this, life will be much more fulfilling.
As some others have said, I believe true wisdom comes with age but it also comes by learning from your mistakes. I believe God grants us wisdom if we, in good faith, seek it. I also believe there is a point in every sensible person’s life when they realize what they want out of life, and they decide to refuse to make choices that would jeopardize their goals. As we’ve talked about in class, we are bad calculators of consequence. I think that plays a big role in people’s decisions as well. A wise person would realize consequences are difficult to judge and, as stated in another blog, there are always unintended consequences we are unable to consider in the equation. The sooner we realize ultimate wisdom is unattainable on earth, the sooner we realize we must be more cautious in our decison-making. We must rely on our faith and value the wisdom and teaching instilled in us by our role models and parents, like Dr. Shaub.
You learn wisdom through experience and failure. While failing is obviously not always your first choice, with it comes the opportunity to learn from your mistakes and improve on yourself. These experience will affect how your decision making the next time around.
It is very interesting to read this blog because my weekly ethic reading focused on seeking wisdom. I read the Book of Proverbs and wrote down many verses that are very applicable to my life and others as well. One thing that I truly gained from reading Proverbs is a better understanding of what exactly it means to be wise. I would say that wisdom is far more than just knowledge; it has more to do with how to guide through life, making the right decisions, and doing the right things. Over and over Proverbs would tell us to listen to our father and mother or surround ourselves with wise friends. I think this truly points to the fact that God wanted us to look to others for guidance on all issues and seek help at all times. I’m a true believer in making any decision 100% by yourself is complete chaos. One might ask, “What about when there is no one to help?”; I would just have to simply disagree with that statement and say there is always somebody and that somebody is God. If you can’t speak to your friends or family just pray and think, “Would God be ok with this decision?”
First of all, I hope your daughter LOVES whatever school she is going to. I already had a housing deposit down on an east coast school when my mother dragged me kicking and screaming to A&M and Texas to visit just so I would never have any doubts about my decision. I was here for 20 minutes before I asked my mom if we could get our deposit at the other school back. I find wisdom to be a far simpler thing. To me, wisdom is believing in the things you already know. “Don’t heckle a comedian.” Most of us know this. But those of us who have ignored the advice and made the mistake of taunting someone who has the room’s attention are wiser for it. They BELIEVE it. Mistakes aren’t the only way to wisdom, but so often they seem the fastest.
I feel like the word wisdom has always been a buzz word. When people talk about wisdom, it makes you want to have it, to instantly obtain it somehow. To be wise is generally recognized as something desirable. However, wisdom isn’t something you simply obtain in a manner of days, weeks, or months, you obtain wisdom over the entirety of your life. It is much different than knowledge in the fact that it is the application of the knowledge you already have to life situations to obtain the optimal results. We don’t always act wisely, but when we reflect on unwise decisions, we can recognize how the result would be different if we did act with wisdom. 2000 years ago, the elderly people in society were looked up to for the wisdom they acquired over the period of their life. Nowadays, where being old is undesirable, we don’t necessarily take advice from the elder people who have much wisdom to give us. We desire youth and independence more than many things, and wisdom is forgotten along the path.
I like Joe’s take on seeking wisdom. I ‘ve thought of a lot of lessons I’ve learned over the years and most came by experiencing something or failing at something. My choice of A&M came from experiencing this campus and UT’s, and feeling more at home here. Though I believe there are a lot of insightful people in the world, and a lot more who think they’re insightful and try to give you advice, the things that stick with me the most are the lessons I’ve learned myself. Even some dumb lessons (i.e. don’t microwave aluminum foil or drive to the dentist right after you rip off the front fender and don’t tell anyone) have stuck with me because I experienced them first hand. I enjoy hearing others opinions, but at the end of the day it is ultimately my decision which I need to make independent of anyone else.
The point that you made about being teachable struck the biggest chord with me. I think one of the more profound things that I have learned in the past four years of college is how much I don’t know. It’s funny how that idea is just now being fully comprehended in my fourth year. On a more personal level I think that being knowledgeable of this makes us more tolerable. I’m fairly stubborn being a first-born and have taken stances in arguements with my sisters over topics that I’m not at all familiar with. It’s ridiculous to treat situations in this manner when they could be avoided with just admitting our ignorance. I believe that being teachable and conscious of how much we don’t know is a sure sign of wisdom and can serve one well in the professional world. It is much easier to reach consensus with others when people are willing to learn from each other.
I think many individuals in our generation think that wisdom is overrated, and that experience means almost nothing. We have grown up believing that we can do or have anything we want, and that we don’t need anyone else’s help to accomplish what we want. It took me about 20 years to finally realize that my parents are almost always right, and that they do actually know what they are talking about. For almost every issue I have had to deal with, they have dealt with it first. It blows my mind to think about how much easier my high school years would have been if I had listened to my dad more often. Although I wish I had listened more, I did end up learning through experience, which has proved to be invaluable. I like to think I have a good mix now – experience from my own actions, and wisdom from my parents to lean on.
I think that the most important thing wisdom can bring us is acceptance of the fact that we don’t know everything and we also can’t control everything. If we can take a stand on something, we should, but if we can’t, we must learn to move on. Many would say that our generation’s biggest problem is that we don’t appreciate wisdom. In my personal opinion, this is understandable. Young adults do not gain wisdom until they experience important events and mature from those experiences. Many previous generations have gone through experiences such as World War I and II. Our generation has had our own important events, but nothing truly forced most of us to take action by taking a stand. For example, the World Trade Tower disaster is an event that we all know, but not all of us let it affect us personally because we were too far removed from the event itself. Now major world events are not the only way young adults mature and gain wisdom. Major personal events have caused many of us to either mature and grow from the experience or run in the opposite direction to escape the pain the world brings. I believe that a important factor on which action we choose to take is whether we have someone there to help guide us, help us sort out our thoughts, and force us to acknowledge what has happened. Mr. Shaub, I believe that if you have taught your daughter the wisdom and values you have learned, then when she comes to face those major personal experiences in her own life, she will take the path towards wisdom for herself.
I think wisdom is gained from a variety of things. My parents instilled a great deal of wisdom in me, and they tried to prepare and teach me how to make the best decisions when they weren’t there to help me. They definitely have helped me grow as a person, but my wisdom also came from trial and error. It’s scary to think that wisdom is gained by making mistakes, because what if your mistake goes too far. I think that is when your own personal beliefs and moral code come into play. Yes, I’ve made many mistakes and have done things I shouldn’t, but I don’t think I’ve let it get far enough because of my parent’s teachings and my own moral compass.
I believe that wisedom is something that you learn from the environment you surround yourself with. I think that all of the wisedom that we have is given to us by our parents through the years. They obviously always try to do the best to teach us what is right and wrong. But I also feel that this wisedom is shaped even further throughout the years with the people you surround yourself with. I also think some wisedom we have comes from the experiences we have. We learn from our actions and that only allows us to grow as a person.
This makes me think of when I came to visit Texas A&M with my father. I desperately wanted him to tell me what he thought was best for me instead of being forced to stand on my own two feet. Looking back, I now know that it was just as hard for him to let me go as it was for me to be on my own. I also realize now that he gave me wisdom throughout the years so that when I was on my own, I would know what to do. My first year of school I was forced to make decisions on my own and live with the consequences; it is usually living with the consequences of an action which make me wiser and help me know what to do the next time. I have found that the best thing I can do is surround myself with people I want to emulate. I am not always going to make the right decisions, but the wisest thing I can do is find people who will help guide me through the tough times and encourage me to be true to myself.
As we have grown from elementary school kids up until now as Graduate students at Texas A&M the chance to fall by the wayside has grown steadily. Looking back and seeing all the people who were not able to make it. Many individuals I went to high school with back home, some were brilliant, have developed serious drug problems or simply had fatal accidents before graduation.
We should feel blessed that, we had supportive parents (Like Dr. Shaub) to help us from going astray even at times we may hate them for it. Katie is really lucky to have a unwaivering protector in her life and someone who will help her no matter what. A lot of people aren’t that lucky.
I also sometime wonder what wisdom truly is, yet I do agree that most people recognize it when they see it. You state at a minimum that that the individual must be teachable. As I child, I always felt like I knew a lot and didn’t realize that I didn’t know anything at all until I got older. It reminds me of the quote by Socrates “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Yet, I was a disciplined child who always respected and took heed to what I was told and paid attention to my environment, others’ actions, and others’ consequences. I also have a younger sister whom I feel like I should always protect just as you feel about your daughter. She is 16 years old and is not as disciplined as I think she should be even though I’m certain I’m not in the position to judge. I try to pass along as much knowledge and wisdom that I can without making decisions for her but I have a hard time when she may fail because I feel that I have failed her.
Thank you for pointing out that wisdom is developing a long-term perspective, rather than seeking instant gratification in the near future. I think it is harder for middle-class students like myself to truly understand what the gravity of delaying gratification feels like. My grandfather was raised in a family of 7 during the Great Depression and rarely had all of his basic needs met. My grandpa owned only a thin denim jacket to brave the cold, snowy winters which plague Kansas City, MO. Getting a piece of fruit in his Christmas stocking was a treat. He does not speak of his childhood much, but the one story I loved to hear him tell was the first time he ever had a Blue Plate Special at the lunch counter in a diner near his childhood home. It wasn’t until he was 12 years old that he ate his first meal outside his mother’s kitchen. He remembers every detail about that burger and fries and tells the story as if the taste is still in his mouth! My grandpa truly knows what it is to delay gratification, and reap the reward later. His childhood experience has shaped his entire life, taught him what the value of seeking truth and wisdom.
I aspire to learn what it means to live sacrificially, to be thankful for everything I own, to be moved to such joy when I am privileged to experience even small things like enjoying a good meal. Wow, Grandpa! Of all the things he deems important in life, none are material possessions. I only hope that someday I may say the same, and then be on my way to true, mature wisdom.
Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts with us. I like many college students have fallen prey to invulnerability. I feel like we go through life, making mistakes on the way and not getting caught, and the result of this is feeling invincible.
I think wisdom is a characteristic gained through knowledge and experience. I also think it is important to gain wisdom through your parents, mentors, and professor. That is why it is important to confide in them on important decisions.
It is very true that every day we are making decisions that require significant wisdom and that will affect future decisions and opportunities. For example, I signed with an accounting firm a few months ago where I will be working the next few years and my choice required a lot of thought about the company and about my future as well, for the place I work now will have an influence on where I want to work in the coming years of my life. The definition of wisdom is quite ambiguous, but the part that seems the most important to me is that it involves developing a long-term perspective, which a lot of people have trouble with. This is apparent in the business world today, where a lot of decisions that were thought to be “wise” at the time because of their impact on the short run didn’t take into considersation the implications in the long run.
I believe that in times of important decisions, it is important to surround yourself with people you respect and strive to be like. Allowing yourself to be influenced by the wrong crowd can lead to devastating consequences. I feel that college especially is a true test to your moral character, without parents here to set rules for us, we are forced to set our own. Whether we choose to break these rules or not is a test to our integrity.
I believe wisdom has become something harder to gain now that we live in the world of technology and instant gratification. As somebody mentioned in one of their comments, grandparents are probably some of the wisest people around today and we need to take as much time as we can to learn from them and their decisions. Both of my grandparents grew up in a tiny town in Arkansas and did not even have running water or indoor plumbing. However, both my grandmother and grandfather knew that education was important and proceeded to be valedictorian and saludatorian in high school and proceed on to colleges. My grandmother graduated from college which was a huge achievement for a woman in her time and my grandfather earned his PhD in engineering. I look up to both of my grandparents and hope to gain at least a small portion of the wisdom they have acquired throughout their lives. I feel that I believe education is so important because I have seem them go through all obstacles to achieve it and want to model my life after theirs as much as possible. I know picking a college is a tough decision and is only the beginning of the tests life will throw at you but I hope that I am ready and will continue to gain wisdom throughout my life so I am ready to meet the tests when they come.
I was thinking about being a father and insane it would be to apply a “high risk high return” policy on your child. I personally would want the lowest risk possibly for my child, regardless if it brings low returns. I know that my daughter herself would probably want high returns just as I do now but being in the shoes of a father I would also want my daughter to be wise, even if wise means less returns. How wise can an 18 year old be by themselves though, they need help from a parent or one wiser then them self.
Michael Land, your point is well taken. But if you are going to avoid all risk for your daughter, don’t send her here, or where our daughter is going. There is a lot of risk both places. Me, I’d put her in a convent if I was just acting in my self-interest. My prayer is that she finds a network of folks who are as committed to Christ as she is, and that will grow her faith, not kill it. But if she goes away to college, that could always happen. If more guys your age looked at her through a father’s eyes, the risk would be reduced.
We all have had to make important decisions about where we want our careers to go or the kind of people we want to be over the last several years. My parents have always helped me make important decisions well at least until I had to decide what track in PPA I wanted to pursue. I think by then my parents trusted me to make the wise decision and do what I wanted to do. They were letting me grow up in my own way because soon I will be on my own and making important decisions on my own. There is a fine line between wanting to protect to your children and allowing them to grow up on their own. I have watched friends grow up where their parents have smothered them and made every decision for them without taking in their children’s input. My parents were not like that. They let me make my decisions on my own because they had instilled in me important values to live my life by. They would however give advice when I asked for it or would tell me I should have done it a certain way when things go wrong. Life is full of decision making and can lead life in many different paths.
I loved this blog. My father is dad to three girls, so this was a common scenario around our household every three years when a Carter girl went to college. My dad, much like you, wanted to shelter his daughters for all harm and evils of the world around them.
He tried all through our up-bringing to minimized all harm in my life–these attempts I greatly appreciate looking back retrospectively (at the time I really did not appreciate the 11 o’clock curfew I had even when I returned home from college…); however, I think my path towards my own wisdom did not begin till I was given the ability to think and make decisions for myself and be subject to the good and bad of this world. Once I broke away from my parents beliefs and ways of life, I was able to experience life for myself and being to learn from my own mistakes and decisions.
I don’t think we are truely able to begin to acquire wisdom until we are able to think and make decisions for ourself. Wisdom is something that is unique to each person and is aquired based on their own circumstances. If we do not challege what we have always been told and seek our own individual beliefs, we can never even begin to acquire wisdom.
Your daughter has a journey ahead of her, and as hard as I can imagine it is for you to let her go to college–I know that you will rejoice when you see the beautiful, wise woman she is going to become, but letting go is going to be the hardest thing.
I have often looked to my father and mother for wisdom in life. I think they have showed me what it really means to be happy and live a full-filling life. It is comforting knowing at anytime I can go to them to seek advice and wisdom and I realize I am blessed to have this opportunity. I know they have given me the tools to be successful and the ambition to seek what I want in life as I wrap up the end of my time here at Texas A&M.
The idea of wisdom is very tough to grasp. It’s a definitioin that I think varies among individuals. One thing about wisdom that I believe makes courses such as this so useful is that wisdom is being able to look at a situation or decision for what it truly is. Sometimes it’s tough to decipher blurred situations and with wisdom we gained throughout the years, or wisdom of those close to us, we can use our resources to see the long term consequences of our decisions and how it will affect not only us, but those around us.
In the blog, it was mentioned that wisdom involves being teachable and listening to those with more insight than you have. I think that statement summarizes my time on my internship. I was constantly seeking advice and knowledge from the people above me. However, after this class I think back and wonder if I relied too much on the knowledge of my seniors and perhaps I didn’t use as much professional skepticism as I should have. I don’t believe in any way that my superiors were giving me wrong advice, I just wish I would have asked more questions to fully understand every aspect of all my tasks.
I feel very blessed to be going to college in the town where I’m from. I work with my parents, so I see them usually five times a week. I can very easily turn to them in times of stress, pain, or even happiness. They see me so often that they can tell when I’m having a horrible day or a great one. I especially go to my dad when I have decisions to make or problems. He is always insightful and has words of wisdom. He’s the guy that thinks of every possible outcome before making a decision. I’m much more of an impulse decision-maker. Even though, I have always taken what he says to be true. However, as I grow older, I find myself debating and questioning more of the things I hear. It’s not that he’s losing the touch, or I think he’s wrong. I’m learning to think for myself and by questioning I see more of the bigger picture. I still hear his voice in my head all the time though usually saying, “Liz, quit watching TV and study!” After a certain point in a young adults life, a parent still has influence, but ultimately we start thinking more for ourselves and making our own right or wrong decisions.
I agree with many of the respondents that wisdom is acquired over time and place. The self’s true wisdom comes when the self has agency. We learn from others’ mistakes and are advised on the rights and wrongs of life, but it is difficult to apply these lessons without understanding ourselves and our journey. Gaining agency allows someone to devise her own path and apply lessons to actions and creation of her long-term vision.
I cannot agree more about this statement: “wisdom involves being teachable and listening to those with more insight than you have”. It describes how my father pass his wisdom to me. When I was little, unlike other kids who usually annoyed the same kind of story, I like to listen to my father’s. Those stories come from everything that my father had experienced, from school, from daily life, from work, from his business. His stories are always amazed me and I can never had enough. He believes that those are the best material that he would use to educate me outside school. He always teach me the best way to learn is actually experience it, to bring it to live.And he did shape my personality and turned me into the right type of person as his expectation. On the other hand, my father told me my grandfather used to teach him in the same way, and he was so admired grandfather’s knowledge from real life; My father decided to be as knowledgeable as my grandfather was, and he did it. So I agree that wisdom is teachable, and it has been passed down as my family tradition.
I feel like wisdom is acquired through a combination of experience and knowledge and definitely takes time to acquire. It is something given great value to for wisdom is very insightful. True, to acquire wisdom you have to be able to take into account the advice of people who know more than you. That helps you acquire their wisdom and listening to others who know more will only be beneficial instead of rashly doing only what you think is the best option. The stakes do get higher as you start getting older. This is due to the magnitude of the choices one will make and the increasing responsibilities one may gain. Maybe that’s why fraud occurs and and why the slippery slope starts. Once you commit fraud once the stakes are higher, but the return is also higher even though it is dishonest. Parenting does involve imparting your knowledge or wisdom on your kids from your own experiences and teachings. But slowly you must let your child choose on their own for themselves and hope that your teachings that you have imparted onto them will serve as their guidelines.
I make my own decisions regarding my life. However, my mom still plays a big role in my final decision. I always go to her for her advice/wisdom on many topics to get her opinion. She always knows what to say and often gives me new ideas or points of views.
While you can acquire wisdom day-in and day-out, even being the wisest person of all time, some inherent risk will always exist. I’ll call this “fate”. Even if you don’t take the slightest of risks, sometimes disasters can occur. The real wisdom is knowing this, and preparing a contingency for when failure occurs… it never hurts to have a backup plan! That said, I’m not trying to worry you about your daughter, or suggest you need a backup plan for her!
I believe that wisdom is the product of people you spend time with. I remember this from class discussion: I’m the product of the five people I spend most time with. Although we often try to ignore get annoyed by parent’s advices, it is so easy to ignore those proven wisdom from our parents. I cant even count how many times I did not pay attention to my parent’s advice. I’m sure our parents had similar moments and it is like they know we will be going through similar steps and questions; they provide those advices only to minimize the future harms that will come to me. Yes, I’ve faced such obstacles in my life, and I’m still facing them today. However, I’ll get through this with the support from the family, friends, and myself.
I remember my college visit to Texas A&M with my dad by my side. He also went to A&M, was in the Corps, and got to light the Aggie Bonfire his senior year. Needless to say, he was overjoyed when I chose A&M. One of the reasons why he loved A&M so much and why I love it now, is that there is such a spirit of camaraderie in the air. People here make friends that they keep for life; not many other schools can boast this. Another reputation that A&M has carries on into the workforce. I have had many conversations with men and women that manage companies and want more Aggies to work for them. As Aggies, we are known for having a strong work ethic, being friendly and smart, and – maybe most importantly – being honest. In my opinion, honestly and wisdom go hand in hand and you can’t have one without the other.