Wisdom

Remember that every story has another side. Wisdom is the ability to see both sides and weigh them appropriately.

Ray Dalio

This is the fourth and final installment in my Stoic virtues series. There is Courage, Justice, Temperance, and Wisdom. It takes wisdom to know the amount of courage needed to fit nicely between recklessness and cowardice. It takes wisdom to seek out and find the greatest good, and to do the right thing. It takes wisdom to maintain oneself in the middle of deprivation and overconsumption. It even takes wisdom to fully comprehend the meaning of the word wisdom.

When exploring definitions of wisdom, you will find common descriptors such as experience, knowledge, and understanding. Stemming off of these, we can see we should never stop training, reading, and thinking about our training and reading in our endless pursuit of wisdom.

In the quote above, Dalio brings up the attribute of unbiased judgement, which is a common theme among many definitions of wisdom. Where many of us fail is always keeping our minds open. Epictetus advises “to get rid of self-conceit. For it is impossible for anyone to begin to learn that which he thinks he already knows.” This is much harder than we realize. Social media has given us a platform to wallow in our self-conceit and blabber to the world all that we think we already know. We would do much better if we ask more questions and read more to better weigh the viewpoints on the other side.

Featured photo by Cliff Johnson on Unsplash

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