Thursday, February 1, 2024

Accidental wisdom seeps in

Patience is the companion of wisdom. A wise person sees the big picture and recognizes that they are not God or the most important person in the world.

Kindness is wisdom. Wise people are also humble.

True wisdom comes from sifting through all the noise and finding simplicity at its core.

I've discovered that it's not effective to actively pursue wisdom. Rather, wisdom seeps in over time. Wisdom is more of a feeling than a thought.

At least that's what I'm feeling nowadays, in which I've had a pretty good stretch in life, realizing the phrase "accidental wisdom" probably is redundant. Perhaps wisdom only can be accidental.

While I've been accused of being a bit too woo-woo and partially agree with that, I've been a bit more relaxed of late and have reprioritized my activities and what's important to me. Quality time with my beautiful wife and daughters tops the list of my daily goals. And then, bike rides and walking around El Dorado Park's Nature Center or other worthwhile landscapes, whenever possible, have been my focus.

C'est la vie. Why concern myself with trivial things when I can be looking at the ocean, trees, lakes or turtles?

I had much different feelings for most of my life. Not only did I eschew nature, but I reveled in the glory of manmade constructions, such as The Rock (AKA New York City).

After getting a master's in journalism in The City and working in newspapers for 12 years in New York and L.A., I was an inevitable newshound for most of my life. While I stay abreast of the world's happenings just once daily on the AP News app and German's DW (Deutsche Welle), I think another source of the main sense of calm, and wisdom, I've been experiencing comes from my distinct lack of social media, TV news and scrolling.

So as we head into a presidential election in which I honestly believe is an embarrassing media-gross process and event for Americans, I simply refuse to follow it. Nope. Disregard. Dismiss. Not taking the click bait. I've got an actual life to lead here. I got trees to see.

I don't have any regrets having that 12-year career in newspaper journalism during a time when newspapers existed. I still vehemently argue that we need quality journalism as a part of our nation's checks and balances. Unfortunately, that journalistic ideal is a pipe dream, but it would be nice not to have the Washington Post owned by Amazon and The New York Times telling me the time length each article takes to read on its app.

Henry David Thoreau once said, "If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter — we never need to read of another."

So, yeah, I think Biden/Trump, again, is just the icing on the cake that shows the news cycle we witness in the United States is not only ridiculous, but toxic. It just feels so good to give myself permission to dismiss it and not get hung up on the painful news of the day.

It took me a while getting here, but I guess it's accidental wisdom. Like rings around trees, my wisdom has been sneaking up on me and helping me enjoy my days more and not wasting them on the dreadful news of steamboats blowing up.

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