Wisdom is often portrayed as an old man sitting quietly in a silent subdued setting. Plato in his grove, a monk under a tree, a guru on a mountain top, a professor in a boring lecture hall. Somehow, also, when asked a question they always give exactly the same advice.

Life won’t cooperate. Sometimes we are calm, sometimes angry. If angry we can fight or walk away. Sometimes it is right to walk, sometimes best to fight. The truly wise know what is appropriate each time, but it is never the same.

Myths and holy books which endure contain massive contradictions: “love thy neighbor but sometimes you must kill them all”. Fanatics seize on one phrase, ignoring others. The wise seek to find which response is appropriate for current conditions.

The wise one maintains a massive set of mental templates. These are not simple and not singular, but complex and numerous. The wise select from a vast pallet of possibilities _ wisdom is being able to (usually) make the right choice.

So no easy simple command _ nor even 10 _ from a bearded prophet on a mountainside. Even there, always exceptions. And too often, different from Monday to Tuesday or hour to hour.

Is being truly wise impossible? Sometimes, I think so

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