Friday, March 21, 2014

Defining "wisdom"

What does wisdom mean to you?  An article in the New York Times, Why older often means wiser, by Phyllis Korkki, explores this topic.

Professor Staudinger, at Columbia University, believes personal wisdom incorporated the following elements:
  1. Self insight
  2. The ability to demonstrate personal growth
  3. Self awareness in terms of your historical era and your family history
  4. Understanding that priorities and values, including your own, are not absolute
  5. Awareness of life's ambiguities
One additional feature of the wisdom that can bring with old age is what Erik Erikson coined as "generativity".  This is the last stage of adult development when one gives back without needing a payback. Generativity can take the form of creative, social, personal or financial giving.

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