Searching For Wisdom

An essay by James A Graves, Jr.

 

I need the council of the wisdom of the ages.†

But who is truly wise these days?

Some say that wisdom comes with age, but no one today seems to be able to answer my questions.

 

According to the Bible, Methuselah, at 969, was the oldest man who ever lived.† Genesis 5:27 tells that Methuselah was the grandson of Adam and Eve.† He lived in the time before the Great Flood. Methuselah's grandson was Noah.†

 

In those days, people lived extremely long lives; Adam was 930; Seth, was 912; Enosh was 905; Lamech was 777; and Noah was 950.

The Bible doesn't tell much about the wisdom of people who lived so long, but it seems to me they would have been very wise, especially Methuselah.

 

King Solomon, sometimes called Solomon the Wise, had great wisdom, granted to him by God. He was also a prolific writer, poet, and scientist. His skills in architecture and management turned Israel into the showplace of the Middle East. As a diplomat, he made treaties and alliances that brought peace to his kingdom.

I thought that Solomon might be a good choice for advice until I discovered that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. For that questionable trait, as well as other issues, God wasn't very happy with Solomon.† Little surprise there.† So I decided that Solomon might not have been so wise after all.

 

But I wish I could talk with Methuselah. He had plenty of time to study his fellow humans, and I think he could enlighten me about human nature Ė there are some things that simply baffle me.

 

For example, people seem to prefer pleasant lies to painful truths, especially when it comes to issues that are important, like health, relationships, religion, money and politics.

Why can't people simply face facts and accept reality?†

Lying about reality won't change it, so, why accept a lie?

What would Methuselah have to say about that, I wonder?

 

Also, why do people spread rumors?

People will believe literally any gossip, even about a member of their own family or a close friend, and then pass along the rumor without even the simple courtesy of asking the subject of the rumor whether or not the gossip is true.† The rumor will then be expanded and embellished by each person on down the line, further harming the reputation of the subject of the gossip.† So, even if there was a hint of truth to the original rumor, in a very short time the gossip becomes a monstrous, hideous lie.

What would Methuselah have to say about that, I wonder?

 

I have recently become the subject of a rumor, started by members of my family.† I haven't been asked by any of the rumor mongers if I did what they claim, actually, I don't even know all of the details. Fortunately, my son told me what he heard, so at least I know enough to be certain I didnít do what they claim.

It hurts to know that people I care about, and thought I knew, have assumed that Iím guilty until proven innocent, and then acted as investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner.†

And all done without my participation.

 

Unfortunately, I have some serious issues about being falsely accused of something, going all the way back to my childhood.† I may have been the only kid in my house, but I wasnít the only one at Morrison Spring; people came and went daily, including locals, folks going fishing, and scuba divers and their families, sometimes camping for days.

But it was easier to blame me for whatever happened Ė ĎBlame James Aubrey; he probably did it anyway.í† I was the convenient scape goat.

So, if you want to make an enemy, just accuse me of something that I didn't do and fail to allow me the opportunity to defend myself, I'll accommodate you Ė Iíll be your enemy forever.

 

Iím certain Iíll never live long enough to gain the wisdom to understand human behavior.† But, in Methuselahís almost ten centuries on earth, itís likely that he gained some meaningful insight into why people act the way they do. Unfortunately, heís out of reach.

 

Where is the wisdom of the ages when you need it?

©2016 James A Graves, Jr.

 

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