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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Further Thoughts about Wisdom

There are various definitions of wisdom. They do not contradict each other but rather different aspects.  The first is by Paul Baltes a German psychologist whose broad scientific agenda was devoted to establishing and promoting the concept of wisdom

·      Good judgment and advice in important but uncertain matters of life.

The study of wisdom goes back thousands of years in the human history. For instance the Ancient Greeks saw it as:

·      An intellectual, moral, practical life, a life lived in conformity with truth and beauty

More recent psychologists have continued the journey. According to Eric Erickson wisdom is:

·      “…detached concern for life itself in the face of death itself.”

For Carl Jung thought that wisdom:

·      involves getting in touch with one’s collective unconscious; beginning around midlife

Many of wisdom’s specialists did not believe that age itself generates wisdom.

So how might we apply these ideas to our own journey thought life?
A Life Review might be helpful. The basic assumptions of a life review are:
1.   Later adulthood is not only characterized by decline and loss, it includes balance and growth.
2.   Intelligence is about the ability to adapt to, as well as shape, our environment.
3.   Our society is dominated by negative stereotypes which include:

·      Older people cannot make a contribution to society
·      Older people are withdrawn into themselves
·      Older people have lost the ability to change and adapt
·      Older people are physically weak

These ideas are what we refer to as AGEISM

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