Friday, July 27, 2007

Wisdom Is Stupid.

We had an interesting meeting last night. Thursdays are always the best...

At some point, one of the women whose son is an addict mentioned how she felt like she was very wise, and she'd wished for a long time that her children would accept her wisdom, but that she'd had to learn to stop trying to give them wisdom that they were either unwilling or unable to accept. I found this assertion offensive, partly because I like to think of myself as being very wise, but also because I like this woman, and I think she is wise.

I struggle sometimes with the way that it seems like Nar-Anon teaches us to shut up. I know that there are times when it is just better to shut up because your help or suggestions or advice are only going to make a bad situation worse. But it bothers me when there is someone who is so clearly smart, spunky, wise, and interesting who is nearly apologetic for this wisdom. It seems unfair that she should have all this life experience, love, and support to offer her children...and they won't take it.

I also think it's not fair that I have this perfect answer for my husband's misery: Go To Meetings. Stop feeling sorry for yourself, and get your dumbass in meetings with people who are suffering and struggling and growing in the same ways that you are. There is an answer, all put together, already. I know it will work for him. It's working for me.

It frustrates the hell out of me that I have such a perfect, easy, wonderful solution for him, and that he has to keep doing things is own stupid way. It's stupid.

But then someone else pointed out that our mothers and grandmothers are usually very wise...but who the hell listens to their mothers and grandmothers? If I listened to my wise mother, I'd avoid a lot of pain, but everything would be wrong. I'd be with the wrong man in the wrong career with the wrong haircut and some frumpy outfit with horrible shoulder pads. If I'd followed my mother's wisdom, I'd be living in a trailer in her backyard, working as a school teacher, married to a man I didn't love, and utterly miserable.

So wisdom is stupid. Wisdom, in general, is stupid.

It belongs, I guess, to the person who possesses it. You can share it, but you have to know, I guess, that it's yours alone. The people you want to give it to are on their own paths, and they'll take what they can or want to take from you, and reject the rest.

I guess.


erinsav said...

Such a great perspective on wisdom. Usually you obtain wisdom because you learned from one of your mistakes.

I know that I don't learn from other people's mistakes and more than likely won't heed their wisdom either.

But then again...I'm a junky too, it's par for the course.


Christine said...

I take my experience strength and hope and hopefully a bit of wisdom to those who want to hear it. Certain people I am related to can't get it from me. I used to resent and hate that but now its ok. Its just nice if anyone wants what I have cause I can't keep it unless I give it away.

That woman who says she's not so wise but you believe she is--she probably is and humble too