I Am A Healer At Heart
Posted by Literary_Titan
Wisdom: A Very Valuable Virtue That Cannot Be Bought takes a secular approach to explain what wisdom is and how to obtain it. Why was this an important book for you to write?
Wisdom, values, ethics and so on are very important to me personally, and of major importance to what I consider to be an ailing America. Yes, I believe that America (and of course many other countries) are in serious trouble nowadays. If we do not begin to quickly value wisdom as a society, our institutions will continue to fail, Americans will become increasingly politically polarized and violent, and the promise of the American dream will slip further and further from the grasp of all but the wealthiest individuals. People who are wise have been advising us to listen to our better angels, or our gods, or our inherent potential as human beings, for millennia, and yet here we are…. As it stands, human beings will likely destroy ourselves through nuclear war or global warming in the foreseeable future. This is of great concern to me because I think of all the good and decent people who have come before me–they didn’t work so hard and reach for the stars simply to see the world implode.
But also, I am a healer at heart. I see the power of philosophy and the potential of philosophy to engender personal growth, critical thinking, and moral values in the hearts and minds of people. I did my very best with the book because my overarching goal was to be helpful to people.
What is a common misconception you feel people have about wisdom?
I personally think it is amazing that wisdom is this age-old virtue that every significant civilization has had some interest in, which can be of unparalleled use to us as individuals and as members of society, and yet most people never think about it. Wisdom is behind truth, justice, and love in regard to how highly it is regarded–and it is certainly behind money, power, beauty, popularity, and significance on the list of those things to which Americans aspire. This is tragically misguided, because wisdom is that which can most accurately guide us through all the trials and tribulations, all the mountains and valleys life throws at us all. It can even save your life, as anyone knows who has had an accident involving gasoline, hurt someone while drunk driving, or been faced with an agonizing decision to carry a child to full-term or end the pregnancy! I have also made some dumb decisions in my life, either as a person, as an investor, or in my relationships, and it is only through wisdom that I can hope to do better in the future!
Another element that seems interesting to me is that wisdom (to the degree that folks even really ever think about it, as I said…) tends to be associated with those who are excellent in some attribute or social status, or even simply more advanced in age. I live in a part of the country with more than a few Confederate flags flying on the porches and trucks of folks who are well over 50. So it is a bit of a paradox as to what engenders real wisdom, and what has merely a superficial appearance of wisdom.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from this book?
We each have the capacity to make wisdom our greatest strength. And in a world some say has gone mad, character strengths and worthy virtues are of the highest value. These things, like love and peace, cannot be bought with money, but they can be worked toward, cultivated, prized, and loved. Indeed, the word philosophy comes from the Greek for “the love of wisdom.” So, to philosophize is to seek out, care about, and take seriously wisdom. That is amazing! To succeed in this high aspiration and worthy goal, we ought to make a habit out of taking a broad, deep look at large numbers of individuals throughout history (and from different cultures) who have lived wise, successful, impressive lives. What I call living “a life of value.” I have a free quote search engine on my website that has over 35,000 wonderful quotes about wisdom, values, virtues, ethics, personal growth, etc. Some are just plain truth (in my opinion) that I read in some magazine or heard someone say. In the present book, I bring in many philosophers, thinkers, artists, freethinkers, and spiritual exemplars to the fore. Even one quote about wisdom can make a difference in a person’s mindset, which is why I love quotes and have been thinking about these issues for almost twenty years. If we heed the lessons the wisest people have learned and then taught in many millennia of civilization, struggle, creation, cooperation, and thinking, we will surely benefit as a species.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
I really left it all on the field with this book! It took me hundreds of hours of reading, thinking, and typing–dear God, THE TYPING!! I have issues with my eyes due to the side effects of glaucoma medications I take daily, so often to stare at a computer screen is hard to do. Further, I have to promote this book for the next year or so–and that is no easy task since I don’t have a publishing house behind me and I really don’t like book promotion. Frankly, I am not a full-time author and I don’t even think I am that great of a writer, so the thought of yoking myself to a computer for another 300 hours sounds frankly abhorrent to me at present. I also feel like I had a certain wind in my sails for this project because the Trump years were very hard on me, and the present moment causes me trepidation, and I am not sure I could replicate that “fire” for a subject such as meaning, compassion, or success. Wisdom is a thing of beauty, and I was transfixed by it, indeed!
Posted on April 6, 2022, in Interviews and tagged author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, counseling, ebook, ethics, Existentialism, goodreads, health, Humanism Philosophy, Jason merchey, kindle, kobo, lifespan development, literature, morality, nonfiction, nook, philosophy, Politics and Social Sciences, psychology, read, reader, reading, self help, wisdom, writer, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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