Wisdom - The Ability to Use Knowledge Skillfully (Part 3)

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    If you were able to write a letter to a much younger version of yourself, what would you say? How has your perspective of life changed with age?

    Wisdom - The Ability to Use Knowledge Skillfully (Part 3)

    If you were able to go back in time and write a letter to a twenty-some version of yourself, what would you say?

    What sorts of life lessons have you learned since your early twenties that you wished you knew back then?

    Now that I have reached the fanatabulous age of 56, I feel so much more confident and secure.

    My advice to my youthful self would be the following:
    • You are a much more capable and resourceful person than you know. Don't be afraid to ask big things and dream big dreams. God has great plans for you.
    • Always be yourself.
    • Don't be so impulsive. That first impulse is often an emotional reaction that you will deeply regret later.
    • The easy way is often not the best way.
    • Take the time to count your blessings everyday. Cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving.
    • Sow into others that which you wish to reap in yourself. Everyday, make the effort to be kind. Kindness will get you far in life. Sow mercy. Be an encourager - put some courage in someone. That little bit of caring or concern may not seem much to you, but it can make a world of difference in another person. A little bit of love goes a very long way and can change a person's life.
    • You're extraordinary, so act like it. God has placed wonderful gifts inside you. But you alone hold the key. Invest in yourself. Take the time and effort to develop those gifts.
    • God is able to do way beyond what you ask, think, believe, or even can imagine. Don't limit what God wants to do in your life by your unbelief.
    • Faith is like a muscle. You must exercise it everyday or you will lose it.
    • You are called to be a champion. Champions don't live like ordinary people. Your many adversities in life will only make you stronger and more confident in the end.
    • You really can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. God will always make a way where there seems to be no way.
    • You serve a mighty big God and there is no limit to what He can do. The promises of God are not dependent on your circumstances.

    Sarah, in her late fifties and from Nashville, has these words of wisdom for her younger self:

    "Wisdom!! Comes with age but there are ways to absorb wisdom beyond your years by listening to those who have life experiences. Those who are older than me or those who have gone through situations that are challenging can always impart guidance and encouragement if I will just listen and learn. I have prayed to have a teachable spirit and as I learn from others, I always find opportunities to share the wealth of knowledge that I have gained. I believe this is part of the benefit of the circle of life!"

    Belinda, age 56 and from Cincinnati, shares the following gems:

    Wisdom in my definition is: Experiencing knowledge. You may know a million things, but until you have experienced them ... you have no wisdom about them.

    My Grandfather said that you must struggle in life to make you strong, while we were watching the baby sea turtle hatchlings crossing the sand to strengthen their legs so they could navigate the waves and become one of the oldest sea creatures in the ocean. He told me that if we prevented the sea gulls and sand pipers from eating them, that we would be disrupting that part of nature that was the birds food and they would die. He told me that if we helped them and carried them to the ocean that they would die from being weak. This was a good lesson to learn when I was watching my two year old learn to dress herself or ride a bike or other self accomplishments ... she now is a very wise project manager at a major corporation and her sister is a doctor.

    My Grandmother was a teacher of a one room schoolhouse. She had the kind of love and compassion for people that no one I've ever met in my life has matched. She once lived an example of outreach that I never forgot when I was 5 yrs old. We were traveling by car to Florida (where we spent our summers). My older sister and I were with them. Grandma made it a point to stop at the most devasted house (if you could call a one room shack that) in the middle of the Georgia fields and offered them clothing, blankets and even taught us to give our coloring books and crayons to the children. I remember sitting on the stoop teaching the little ones how to color with my sister. Their eyes were so big when they saw what they could draw. I remember looking in the doorway and seeing a bed frame with just rags covering it to make their mattress. This stayed with me my whole life to remember that we should always be kind to strangers and give away what we know we can replace. Grandma and Grandpa were a kind of Christian example where they "lived" what they learned from the Bible.


    What choice words of wisdom and advice would you write to a younger version of yourself?
    Last edit by Joe V on Jan 15, '15
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  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Oh, the things I wish I'd known back then...........!

    I wish I'd understood that not every single emotion needs---or deserves---to be expressed and shared with the world. Sometimes, it's best to just hold your tongue long enough to ask yourself "Is it true?" "Is it kind?" and "Is it necessary?" If the answer to any one of these questions is No......just let it go!

    I also wish I'd known that drama---whether it's an everyday part of life or something you yourself create because you're bored---is tiresome. It stresses you out and ages you, without really teaching you anything. It's like leaning too far over a 14th-floor balcony: you don't want to do it, and you know you shouldn't, but there's something just a little bit exciting, even dangerous about it, and you can't really help yourself until you're in too deep.

    Here's some drama that I got my own stupid self into when I was in my 20s and did something so fundamentally foolish that it almost cost me my freedom: I got a ticket for speeding and ignored it. Then I picked up another one for having outdated tags on the car, and ignored that too. THEN my driver's license was suspended, and I got a third citation for driving while suspended. Why? I was afraid to go to court because I couldn't afford the fines.

    Now, of course, if I found myself in these circumstances today I'd do whatever it took to pay the tickets, even if it meant doing community service where you pick trash up off the highways to work off your fines. But in those days, I just couldn't seem to stop the snowball effect as the fines doubled, then tripled, and then as warrants were issued for my arrest on failure to appear and failure to comply charges. These were misdemeanors that could theoretically earn a Californian six months in jail on each count, although nobody ever really did that kind of time (unless they'd done the same stupid thing over and over again). And there were three of them!

    Naturally, I was terrified of being stopped by the police, and jumped every time I heard an unfamiliar car pull into the driveway at my apartment complex. By the time I finally asked my family for help---over a year after the original speeding and unregistered-vehicle citations, and with three outstanding warrants ---I was in so much trouble that I was read my rights and immediately sent to attorney counseling services when I checked in for arraignment at the court clerk's office.

    Long story short: I wound up with a huge fine, and was VERY sternly warned by the judge that the next time I pulled this stunt it would cost me a minimum of 10 days in the Graybar Hotel. But I walked away from it all with reduced charges that, according to the court clerk---who also wished me good luck in my nursing career when she wrote me---had long been cleared from my record by the time I applied for my RN license twelve years later. So God really does watch over old drunks, dogs, and damned fools......and if we are wise, we learn that it's best to assist, rather than thwart Him in keeping us out of that last category.
  4. by   VickyRN
    Quote from VivaLasViejas
    Oh, the things I wish I'd known back then...........!

    I wish I'd understood that not every single emotion needs---or deserves---to be expressed and shared with the world. Sometimes, it's best to just hold your tongue long enough to ask yourself "Is it true?" "Is it kind?" and "Is it necessary?" If the answer to any one of these questions is No......just let it go!

    I also wish I'd known that drama---whether it's an everyday part of life or something you yourself create because you're bored---is tiresome. It stresses you out and ages you, without really teaching you anything. It's like leaning too far over a 14th-floor balcony: you don't want to do it, and you know you shouldn't, but there's something just a little bit exciting, even dangerous about it, and you can't really help yourself until you're in too deep.
    Excellent advice, Viva, which flies in the face of the "If it feels good, do it" and the "me, me, me, me, me" philosophies so prevalent today. I like your three rules of thumb... true, kind, and necessary... most excellent and thank you!

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