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Spending time with elders we can find their wisdom ‘wisdoms’ us


Our elders are so full of wisdom, wit and vitality that these life-giving qualities pour out of them, even when they are not looking.  This is evident to those of us blessed to live among them. 

Wisdom shows itself in many ways, some obvious, some more subtle. Sometimes, we may not be aware that we have been touched by Wisdom until long after that gift has borne fruit.

The wisdom of listening is a most appreciated gift, particularly to those who have many stories to tell or thoughts that need airing.  Listening and hearing and telling are a piece.  Reciprocity turns an encounter into a wisdom experience.  To a good listener, one is more ready to tell stories, revisit important, formative life experiences.  This sharing may be a reminder of strengths used on previous occasions and therefore accessible again.  When someone really listens, the speaker feels valued, respected, important, connected.  God bless those whose gift is the wisdom of listening!

Some people are blessed with the wisdom of seeing into the whole of another person, seeing what is really there, the goodness, truth, beauty that has grown throughout a lifetime of experiences. 

The wisdom seer often senses where hurt,  loneliness or worry could be diminished by the offer of some “face-time,” an experience of seeing and being seen eye-to-eye, in recognition of worth.  Blessed are those who use their inner and outer sight!

We do not always think of wit as a wisdom gift, but I believe it is.  Connecting ideas that do not normally go together surprises, delights, lightens our spirits. 

A sense of humor interrupts our daily ruts and frees us of the “expected,” opens us to something new.  We don’t always want the answer to “Why did the chicken cross the road?” to be “To get to the other side!”  I wouldn’t expect “Because the light turned green.”  Blessed are those who share the funny things of life because they help us to laugh at ourselves, and just maybe, keep us young at heart!

The Spirit of Wisdom

            You risk guessing 
what I really want from you
…and you offer it.
            You remember who I am, 
even if neither of us
remembers what I say.
            You offer me the safety to be me.

When we spend time with elders, when our hearts are open to receive and possibly be changed in the encounter, the richness of their wisdom “wisdoms” us and increases vitality in everyone.

Let’s remember, we are all on our way to being elders.  Some people just have a head start. 

Mary Ann Farley, SNJM
Contributing Editor
Fig Tree Board Member

Copyright © February 2017 - The Fig Tree