My whole team at work knows that when I say “oh, how clever!” it is usually not a compliment. It’s my own personal investment management version of “bless your heart.”
Whether in business or in life, we are not seeking cleverness. We’re not even seeking knowledge, or understanding. We are seeking wisdom.
I’ve been starting the year with John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara, and he notes, “there is a great difference between knowledge and wisdom… Wisdom is the way that you learn to decipher the unknown; and the unknown is our closest companion… Wisdom is the art of balancing the known with the unknown, the suffering with the joy; it is a way of linking the whole of life together in a new and deeper unity.”
Though I have underlined almost every passage of this book, new phrases hit me every time I read O’Donohue’s work. This time, it’s right in the middle of the quote above.
“The unknown is our closest companion.”
How wonderful, to be constantly snuggled up right next to the unknown.
And how terrifying, if our only tool for navigating is a puffed-up cleverness.
The search for wisdom keeps us curious. Humble. Whole.
Dear ones, may we be quick and clever with the small things, the simple and easily known.
But with the unknown – our closest companion – may we endeavor, eventually, to become wise.
I often find glimmers of wisdom by curling up with a good book. With that in mind, I’m glad to share my latest Honeybee reading list, with all best wishes for the new year.