Friday, July 17, 2009


I can't believe it's Friday already and therefore time for my friend mountaingirl's Photo Challenge. This week's theme is "wisdom".

There are many different types of wisdom, just as there are many different types of intelligence [or "multiple intelligences" as I believe the jargon term is]. However, your intelligence cannot protect you from the force of your emotions and anyone who thinks it can has not yet acquired wisdom. Perhaps wisdom is knowing when and how to use our intelligence.

I am not religious but keep a framed copy of the famous Serenity Prayer by Nieburh:

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

This is because it is the prayer of Gamblers Anonymous, an organisation which helped my wonderful, flamboyant, generous and kind gambling father.

Perhaps the wisest person I ever knew was my great aunt Mabel, who lived with us until her death in 1964. [I have written more about her here.] She had many wise sayings and I wish I'd taken more notice of these and talked to her more, but I thought that no one over 16 had any wisdom at all! One of her most comforting sayings was, "This, too, will pass...."

My Grandpa [on my mother's side] also lived with us and could do no wrong in my eyes. He had the wisdom of a countryman and many of what I used to think of as his peculiarities are deemed good habits today: separating different types of rubbish, squashing items so that they'd take up less room in the bins and never, ever, wasting anything.

Lastly, here's a touch of Italian wisdom for you:

Butta sulla terra e credi in Dio = "Throw [your seeds] onto the earth and believe in God."

The Cava d'Ispica, Sicily.


Carol said...

I wanted to stop by and thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. I told Ms. Kitty that she received well-wishes from Sicily, although I'm not sure she knows where or what that is! ;-)

I enjoyed reading your pieces of wisdom. I think that I would have liked to have known your aunt.

Minnie said...

Thank you so much for this fascinating post, Welshcakes. So rich in resonance, honesty and - definitely - words of wisdom: your grandparents possessed much, clearly.
I share your views (esp on types/varieties of intelligence - a fact rarely acknowledged let alone applied). Appreciate the reminders you set out with clarity and style - 'Desiderata' is a small masterpiece, isn't it?
Here's one for you: "No man can ever truly be secure until he has been forsaken by fortune." [Boethius].

Whispering Walls said...

Have you read Ecclesiastes, WL?

Gledwood said...

I always thought "wisdom" was the application of "knowledge" and "understanding" with intelligent discrimination...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Carol. How is Ms Kitty now? The important thing is that she knows she is loved, which she of course does. My aunt would have enjoyed meeting you, too. Thank you, Phidelm. Yes, I like "Desiderata" too. Many thanks for the quote - there is much truth in that. Thanks for the reminder, WW - I just looked that up again. That's a good definition, Gleds.

CherryPie said...

I found this a fascinating a lovely post :-)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Many thanks, Cherie. x

jmb said...

What a lovely post you made from this challenge Welshcakes.

Wisdom is a goal that no one ever thinks they reach. Only others credit you with wisdom, if you are lucky that is.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, jmb. Your words about wisdom are very wise!


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