What is ordinary wisdom?
We each have wisdom within us, knowledge that transcends the everyday experience. Sometimes it's hard to identify wise words in the observations shared between friends, family and colleagues. Most of the time we lack the ability to edit the "background noise" of our own thoughts and to be purposeful in conversation. But if we sift through the rhetoric of dialogue, and listen carefully to words, some surprising pearls of wisdom are concealed in the plain language of focused discussion.
For the last five years I've been interviewing people about common interests-- gardening, training dogs, genealogy-- and I have discovered more than knowledgeable people on a variety of topics. When people are passionate about what they do, or what they are trying to achieve, there seems to be a sharpening of intellect, and a heightened awareness. This awareness allows people to become more expressive, insightful and articulate, and to apply a kind of problem-solving to other areas of their lives.
The wisdom I'm interested in comes from exploring ordinary everyday experiences. Wisdom grows through the exchange of ideas, and is nurtured by personal insight and sustained inquiry. Wisdom does not need to be profound. It can be simple and quiet, and give a sense of "rightness" that enriches life.
This is my first blog of the century, which is to say my first ever attempt to explore ideas in a global community. I confess to entering the "on-line author" arena with trepidation. The sages of the day advise that a writer must have a website. And a weekly blog. (Who makes up these crazy edicts?)
I commit, instead, to posting every few months a story about a topic I've recently explored, a profile of someone interesting I've met, or more ruminations on ordinary wisdom. I look forward to sharing what I am learning, and to hearing other readers' and writers' comments. Welcome to Ordinary Wisdom!
Judith Wright is a Canadian writer interested in ordinary wisdom, that is, insight gained through everyday experience, shared with the wider world.