Strange–how it is in tragedy’s wake where humanity shines brightest…
stranger yet is that it’s not strange, because it happens every time–it’s normal.
It’s as if we need occasional reminders of what we are and for what we stand–
humanity–the very essence of what things we perceive in ourselves that we claim as our own
and which make us unique from all other life on this planet.
Why is that it we band together in the rarest moments, where our ties collapse,
the divisions and lines blur away to nothing but in the face of our own despair.
“Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?”
-Ronald Reagan; Address to the 42d Session of the United Nations, September 21, 1987
I’m a democrat, and I don’t care much for Reagan (and I wasn’t even alive then,) but that’s besides this point. His point seems probably accurate.
Squirrels. Squirrels are so wise. Animals, just in general, animals are wise. Humans are not wise. We are obsessed with wisdom, a concept of our own creating and in which we are all horrifically lacking. Maybe I’m talking out of my ass–it’s more than well possible–I might be talking out of my ass. But squirrels, though. Squirrels are so wise.
Squirrels know to collect and store nuts and stuff, for the winter. That is so wise that they do that. Squirrels don’t need formal educations to know to do that–they just, seem to do it regardless. Moreover, I’ve never seen a homeless squirrel before either… Squirrels are so wise. Animals are so wise. That’s maybe why Aesop’s Fables make sense and after all these years.
That’s what I think wisdom is. I think wisdom is nearly instinctual (and we’ve evolved against it). Wisdom is not intellectual. Wisdom is rarely clever. Wisdom is primitive. Wisdom is survival. Wisdom is, not stubbing your toe on the coffee table, and so because you know better, after a few times–that’s wisdom.