Wisdom Bought and Sold – 25¢
by Craig ‘Snake’ Bloomstrand
I’ve been writing about Wisdom recently and decided to do some field research.
I made two cardboard signs –
Bought and Sold
My friend Alan and I drove to the lake intending to buy or sell wisdom for a quarter a dose. We headed for a bench next to the walking path, strategically placed our signs for best visibility and got right to work.
Two young women stopped before we’d even settled. One held a 14 month old baby and the other obviously a soon to be mom.
“You’re selling wisdom?” One asked. “What a great idea.”
“Well actually we’re buying and selling wisdom.” I responded.
“I’ll take some,” the expectant mother said, “How does it work?”
She rummaged through her purse looking for a quarter.
“First we have to agree on a definition,” I explained, “Then we can decide what type of wisdom you’d like to purchase.
“Ok,” she agreed, what is the definition?
I’ve been studying various published definitions and concocted my own hybrid from what I’ve read.
Wisdom is the ability to learn from life experience and use it to shape the future for the good of all.
I shared my definition along with my unexpected discovery that the difference between knowledge and wisdom seems to be embedded in the last few words.
“For the good of all.”
The two women accepted my definition commenting they never thought about the difference and agreed for the good of all did indeed fit. “Why are you doing this?” they asked.
“We believe the world could use a little more wisdom. We decided offering a clear definition and assigning a dollar (Quarter) value, we’d encourage people to value wisdom and use it consciously in their daily lives.” I explained.
“Why here at the lake?” the woman holding the baby asked, “Shouldn’t you be in Washington selling wisdom?” I laughed replying, “this is our first day out. We thought it would be wise to start at the grassroots before stepping onto the national stage. We figured only very wise people would be walking around the lake on a sunny Tuesday afternoon.
The expectant mother suddenly piped up, “I have some wisdom.”
“Great,” I encouraged, “Lets have it.”
“Never be too quick to judge other people,” she offered adding, “I’m quick to judge people based on what they wear or how they look. My husband is much better at withholding his judgments until he gets to know people better. He’s a more reliable judge of people than I am.”
“Never be too quick to judge other people,” she repeated.
“It fits the definition,” I acknowledged, “Something you learned that could shape the future and certainly for the good of all.”
She seemed very pleased with herself and refused the quarter I offered saying, “No, I’d rather trade, now you give me some wisdom.”
“What flavor of wisdom?” I asked. She paused for a moment considering my question. I noticed her hand slowly caressing her pregnant belly.
“How about children? She asked, do you have any wisdom about raising children?
I raised two children who are now about the same age as these young women. When it comes to childrearing I’m no master but I am experienced and I have learned a lot through the years. I offered up the first thing that came into my mind.
“You can never love a child too much. Spend as much time as you can simply loving your child, you and your child will be forever grateful.”
We agreed we’d made a good trade of wisdom, said our goodbyes and the young mothers continued on their walk. I watched as they walked away, two women filled with the special beauty motherhood bestows.
We did encounter the skeptics, cynics, and the joggers determined to complete one more mile and far too driven to stop and take a moment. I’m grateful for those who did stop. Although no money changed hands today we did go home with our pockets full of wisdom. I imagine we sparked lively dinner conversations last night. I hope so. People have collected a lot of wisdom yet are often shy or hesitant about expressing it. We will continue to hit the streets with our signs. Look for us and stay tuned.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Follow the ‘Wisdom – 25¢‘ Adventure on their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Wisdom-25/207834646061043