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  • And Now For Something Completely Different.

W is for Wisdom

Before you conjure pictures of owls, stacks of ancient tomes and philosophers in togas, know we are going to look at a lesser known version of wisdom. Discovery is always fun. Did you have any idea being able to discover is wisdom? Yes, we are going to tie all the alphabetic posts together. Neatly.

As we have strolled through the psychological alphabet, we have discovered things about ourselves: What kind of temperament we have always had, how that temperament translates in adulthood, how creatively we think, our own brands of confidence and defiance and much more. How does all that discovery translate into wisdom?


Merriam Webster may not have been the W for this post, but certainly played a hand in it. The very first definition of wisdom is “accumulated philosophic or scientific learning, knowledge”. It is all the things you have learned about yourself as we have traveled this road.

M3 normally takes last, or nearly last, definition. Wisdom is different. We are going to stay in the first definition, but we are going to go down two paths.

b: ability to discern inner qualities and relationships insight

: good sense : judgment”


All of the personality and temperament tests revealed ways our decision-making exposes our truest identity. We saw how the way we interact with others and our environment influences the way we handle tough and simple situations alike. Already, some of you have identified how knowing yourself helps you understand interactions between you and (Quaint, Mate, Co-Worker, Family).

Think about the person to whom you are the closest. Answer a few questions:

  • Does Quaint have a similar temperament?
  • Are you more confident than Quaint?
  • Is Quaint more creative?
  • Who does the endorsing?
  • Which one is a genius?

Hold onto those answers. We will put them to use in a few moments.


You have gathered information and used your insight. Now, it is time to exercise judgment.

Newsflash: Relationships are never 50-50.

Between spouses, lovers, friends, colleagues, siblings, parents and children, extended families…relationships are never 50-50. One person will bring a dominant number of assets to the relationship.

Newsflash 2: It is okay.

Every relationship we have is built upon the satisfaction of needs. Each person satisfies a need the other person has. In some cases, one person will satisfy more needs than have needs fulfilled. In weighing the needs in a relationship, be honest about how weighty your own needs are to the other person.

Newsflash 3: You can ask.

Doubt is very easy to abolish. Ask. When you do not know what medicine to take, you ask. When you do not know how to find a place, you ask. Do not bob along the relationship ocean. Ask.

Once you know, you can weigh whether or not the relationship is satisfying enough needs to continue as it stands now. If you find it lacking, you do not have to scrap it. Instead, work on it. Relationships change over time unchecked. Change is equally available as an overt action.


Change the relationship to someone else: Your child, parent or sibling. Answer the questions again. How different are the results?

When we deal with our families, we often assume there is no way to work with them on our relationships. Why? No one chooses their family. Everyone can choose how or if interaction takes place.

Not Mini Me.


While your children are small (until the age of majority), you are responsible for them. Consider it penance, if it is painful. During that time, you are not at the mercy of the relationship ocean. Identify in yourself and your child what assets are available.

No, your child is not helping you pay the mortgage. Your child is unlocking discovery in you by holding your hand on a new path of discovery. This is a chance to revisit your past and the formation of your identity, to remind you of yourself.

You can avoid slips and falls along the way by recognizing your child is not a miniature version of yourself…any more than (Quaint, Colleague, Mate) is. Instead, remember how your identity formed and observe the formation of your child’s.

If this was not the path your parent(s) took, this will be the discovery of a different way.


When it comes to dealing with other members of your family, you have no obligation like the one to your child. You can choose to engage or disengage the same way you do with your colleagues and neighbors. Identify the differences between you, and determine if the relationship is worthwhile.

Every family has at least one member the rest tolerate for the peace of the family. Leave that person for holidays, and skip them on any random Tuesday. Just because someone is family does not mean they are identical or even compatible with you. Reread Newsflash 2.


More than just a random accumulation of knowledge, wisdom is an exercise in using insight and making judgments.


Have you exercised wisdom in relationships with others or are you adrift on the relationship ocean? Have you ever had the wisdom to end a relationship with a family member? How can wisdom help you with teenagers…yours and those of others?

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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  1. This is a very interesting posting Red, I guess in the idea of helping teenagers whether they are in the family or elsewhere boils down to whether they have respect and trust in the person that is offering the wisdom, often these can be lacking and therefore wisdom alone cannot help, though I am not talking from experience here, I am merely adding an opinion that sounds logical to me given the criteria of the question.

    As for ending a relationship with a family member, well I have been down that road and it is not something that one can ever take lightly. Once a decision is made then there is no going back on it, as with life in general one must stick to one’s own vision of what is right and what is wrong and if the only route is to break off ties with someone then so be it.

    Do have a lovely rest of evening Red :) 😉

    Androgoth XXx

    • Red

       /  April 26, 2012

      Trust is not standard issue gear for teens the way it is for small children. All too often teens turn away from the rents. It is a critical time when others in or out of the family really need to step up to the plate. At that juncture, bad influences can severely change a teen’s original path, from which there may be no coming back.

      As to stepping away from family, it is like any other relationship. Being flip about it serves no one and can potentially hurt other relationships with those in the family who are less pragmatic about the obligations associated with the term “family”.

      I am hoping for a good one. Tomorrow should bring sunshine behind all this rain tonight. 😉

  2. If you’re wise enough, you can lock the teenagers out of the house and hope they’ll go away. I guess that’s why they invented boarding schools.
    Binky recently posted..Genealogy and The Study of GeniesMy Profile

  3. If you love someone, let them go and if they don’t come back, hunt them down and kill them!
    Friggin Loon recently posted..YohioMy Profile

  4. Hmmm… Wisdom is learned and should be ignored at your cost!

    There is an old saying that good experience comes from bad experience and the same could be said of Wisdom!

    Also we have to accept that wisdom is also a matter of choices.

    Sometimes the best choices are not obvious except in retrospect, but once learned should not be ignored! :)

    Love and hugs!

    prenin recently posted..Thursday – More gets written.My Profile

  5. Wisdom is an odd thing, even after taking lessons to heart and head we oft times forget them when the need to save a loved one emerges. We might know we can’t save them, we might know they are a disaster .. the Hindenburg or Titanic slipping their moorings; nonetheless we love them and grab hold till the skin of our palms are burned raw.

    Not saying wisdom isn’t pragmatic, it is. Nevertheless, we humans are also emotional creatures who sometimes forget those hard lessons learned.

    • Red

       /  April 27, 2012

      Family is the best example of taking wisdom we have already garnered and tossing it out the window. The belief we should always be available for family throws back to herd mentality, but fails to account for the aspect of free will. Many family members choose their situations which require rescue. Herd and pack animals do not normally have subversive elements, but when they do, they cut them out. Makes you wonder how advanced on the evolutionary scale we truly are.

  6. I tend to wisdom in the area of relationships. My daughter does not ::sigh:: wisdom learns from mistakes–it’s own and others! Wisdom looks before it leaps. It also learns that letting go of unhealthy relationships is a must for one’s own health. Good post– as always.
    angela recently posted..Cee’s life questions answeredMy Profile

    • Red

       /  April 29, 2012

      Very true. Learning when the horse is dead is terrifically important.

  7. Wisdom – in relationships, I for too long ignored what I knew and the insights I had. As far as dealing with teenagers.. I just tell them the opposite of what I want them to do and let them think they have some great discovery to tell me.. works almost every time but I get that from remembering how I felt when my parents were lecturing me or weren;t considering my point of view.. And I always listen to them even if they are full of crap. That was the other thing that I learned from teenagehood :-) I was wrong but if I was heard and validated, I was much more agreeable to do it not my way.
    Lizzie Cracked recently posted..Trifecta – Weekend Challenge, 3 Points of ViewMy Profile

    • Red

       /  April 29, 2012

      You have hit on some of the basic truths of parenting teenagers. First, teenagers realize eventually that their parents get smarter the older they (the teenagers) get. Second, validating your teen, even when they are off base, works just as well as validating them when they hit the nail on the head. It works no matter age. As to the reverse psychology, sometimes it does work. I have listened to teens who lament their parents’ attempts to use reverse psychology because they know about it and are using it on their parents!

      • ah and then welcome to my life with 16 yo Mr. Smarty Pants. He is the child I most identify with and he is sharp and he knows I use it with him and I know he uses it on me and around and around we go. But for all that, the one thing he gets from me that no other adult in his life right now will offer..is validation. I don’t always approve his methods or his plans, but I listen to him and discuss them not just shrug them off as another of his big ideas that are going nowhere. Why do I do this? Because , I remember what it feels like all too well, and secondly because he is a human being and friggin deserves it. Maybe there is wisdom in that.. I think too that I have learned that if I talk to them like they have some sense, offer them choices,and don’t judge or criticize based on my life experiences, it works out better. My older kids come to me for advice before anyone else. It makes me feel like I did something right. Kinda like..wise :-)
        Lizzie Cracked recently posted..Weekly Photo Challenge: TogetherMy Profile

        • Red

           /  May 1, 2012

          There is wisdom in it, Lizzie. Judgment is a powerful thing. When it weighs against our ideas and beliefs, it can be crushing. When it comes in the form of constructive criticism, it is validating because if the judge did not find merit in our idea, they would not have spent the time to attempt to improve it. You really need to read E for Endorsement.

  8. I like the wisdom in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure…
    “True wisdom lies in knowing that you know nothing…That’s us, dude!”

    • Red

       /  April 29, 2012

      LOL! It is true! Did you leave a link to your blog in the Green Room? (Top Menu Bar)

  9. I definitely agree: “more than just a random accumulation of knowledge, wisdom is an exercise in using insight and making judgments.”

    My own take on wisdom is more pragmatic and action-oriented. Wisdom, for me, is the ability to do the right thing at the right time. Although wisdom is more than knowledge, we can can make better decisions when we have more pertinent information about the issue at hand.

    • Red

       /  April 29, 2012

      That is true, Matt. It is hard to make good choices based on faulty information. Good to see you tonight!

  10. I have found that with teens the best way to deal with them is to understand where they are coming from, even if I disagree with it. No yelling, don’t talk at them, but to them. Mine learned best from watching me rather than listening to me…so it was really all about my own behavior. Did I mess up at times? Lots, but I had to learn quick and admit my mistake or they would copy the bad behavior before the good behavior.
    If all the above does not work…well, there is always Loon advice. :-)
    Honestly though, it seems to me it was all trial and error, and I was dealing with an alien the whole time. Teens seem to be a their own breed.

    Hugs, xx
    Deb recently posted..R is for RedMy Profile

    • Red

       /  April 30, 2012

      LOL! I thought Loon’s advice was to eat them before they became teenagers… Although, that does work. you are so right they learn far more by what we do than what we say. i may have to post one of my guides to mutual respect. I spent a lot of time writing for both parents and tweens/teens about how to get along and grow up safely.

      Teens are not aliens…remember, we only admit being abducted…not being alien! ROFL!


      • lol…Yeah, I know. I meant to put that part a little differently as to not call them that but my fingers sort of took over. They do seem to be a bit out of this world though. When they grow up and have a teen or two of of their own…they’ll know what I mean.
        Hugs ♥ xx
        Deb recently posted..R is for RedMy Profile

        • Red

           /  April 30, 2012

          Now, Debbie Adams! Are you possibly transferring your mother’s curse to your own children?? ROFL! XXX

          • Well if I did it’s a little late to fix it now. They’re 34 and 33 years old. :-)

            Hugs, xx
            Deb recently posted..R is for RedMy Profile

          • Red

             /  April 30, 2012

            LOL! No, your mother cursed you with teenagers at least as bad as you were… 😉

        • Lol…Oh yeah, I paid dearly for my own behavior as a teenager when I got my two. . I got what I gave my mother to say the least. …pay back really is a b#tch.
          Deb recently posted..R is for RedMy Profile

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