The Gathering of Wisdom – Character Creates Opportunity®: Thursday, January 17, 2019

Where do we look for insight and guidance?

There is truth to the old proverb that we become “the company we keep.” A legitimate question for each one of us (adults too, not just our kids) is, “Who are we hanging around with?”

As we continue on our journey to build and strengthen our character, we need to be thoughtful about where we gather insight and guidance as our world gets more complicated.

In today’s world, social media makes it almost too easy to gather ideas and points of view from others. If we are not careful, we can passively let the artificial intelligence of search engines and news feeds keep us boxed in to just seeing our current point of view and not exposing us to other ideas.

Wisdom, most often, comes with age and experience. One common misstep in our technology driven world is that we tend to move quickly to dismiss “old folks” that may not be willing or able to keep up with the pace. In addition, given our new-found enlightenment and transparent world, we may dismiss old folks through pre-judgment as being insensitive or uncaring to the needs of others.

As we look to gather wisdom around us, the truth is that we do build our knowledge and awareness from prior generations. Before we move to quickly to dismiss the old folks who may seem out of touch, below is some wisdom taking from research conducted on people over 100 years old. The below captures the essence of some things these centenarians wish they knew then what they know now:

  • Relationships matter. Time with people you love is the most important. In our busy world where we are going in several different directions, be in the moment when you are with those you care about most…and try to make more of those “moments” by saying “no” to other less important things that can consume our time.
  • Go beyond the norm. We tend to live a life based on other’s expectations. As a result, we may be placing boundaries around our potential. Take a chance to make a greater impact by being you, not someone else.
  • Quickly let go of bitterness and anger. We all get hurt in relationships. The quicker you can learn to forgive and not be shackled by your own anger and bitterness, the better off you will be and those you care about most.

As we become intentional about gathering wisdom to be the best we can be, we will build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity to have a positive impact in our world.

Common Experiences and Shared Learning for Positive Influence