“All human wisdom is summed up in two words — wait and hope.” Alexandre Dumas. I have never liked contradicting folks who are smarter than I am or who lived a long time ago and generally I don’t dispute any of the quotes I have shared in the past couple of years but I do take a little issue with this one. I am not in a position to second guess his life circumstances at the time he wrote this but if I looked back over a few hundred years I would have to add a few ideas to his summary of wisdom. I would add the following to his definition – courage and not just physical courage but emotional and mental courage, faith and just spiritual faith but faith in yourself, faith in your purpose, and faith in your future. And finally belief – belief in yourself, belief in your mission, belief in your journey. What would you add to the concept of wisdom?
“It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.” Abraham Lincoln. If you haven’t figured it out yet, as a reader, I am a devout believer in God and everything He stands for in life and my life. And as I look back over a couple of thousand years of many of the great thinkers, inventors, and leaders – the ones who stand out in my mind most were also strong believers. Were they Perfect? No, but did they believe in a higher power? Yes. Lincoln was one of them in my view. He faced unbearable circumstances while he served our country, but he didn’t go through them alone. He had a wingman and that wingman helped him save this country from future years if not centuries of turmoil. Let me ask you – when faced with circumstances that challenge your beliefs, values, or your inner core as a person do you stand your ground and fight back regardless of the potential negative outcomes, or do you cave to external pressure, whether political, relationship, career or personal? I’ve been there in every area of life I just mentioned, and I am not proud of the times when I gave in to the outside world but I learned that in the long term it is better to deal with the feelings and circumstances of not caving than the regrets of losing myself.
“If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.” Socrates. Over the years I have known many wealthy folks and a few well-known millionaires. I have also met hundreds of people who would have liked to have had greater wealth but for any number of reasons that was not their destiny. Regardless of your financial position, I’m sure you, like most of us, have had some great times and even some bad times as you have passed from year to year during your lifetime. But, there is one thing I noticed about both groups. In the wealthy and millionaire groups, there was a mix of both arrogant and very egotistical people and humble people but in the less wealthy group, there were mostly kind, thoughtful, and wise folks. I’m not implying that money or wealth is bad but it can cause some people to change negatively. I am currently reading one of Billy Graham’s wonderful books and in it, he mentions six of the wealthiest people in the US during the 1920s. Three of them died from suicide and 3 of them died broke. Go figure.