Building Wisely – Wisdom Versus Foolishness

Wisdom defined:  Seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.

I have always thought of wisdom as synonymous with knowledge and IQ but, as usual, when I research a character trait, I learn something new about it and myself.  The best way I can describe the difference is that knowledge can be gained from studying and reading while wisdom is typically a result of learning from bad decisions.  Wisdom is cleverly depicted in the following quote:

“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.”

The story below is a good example of the evolution of wisdom.

Building Your House

An elderly carpenter was ready to retire. He told his employer, a contractor, of his plans to leave the house-building business to live a more leisurely life with his wife and enjoy his extended family. He would miss the paycheck each week, but he wanted to retire. They could get by.

The contractor was sorry to see his good worker go & asked if he could build just one more house as a personal favor. The carpenter reluctantly said yes.   Over time it was easy to see that his heart was not in his work. He resorted to shoddy workmanship and used inferior materials. It was an unfortunate way to end a dedicated career.

When the carpenter finished his work, he invited the employer to inspect the house. When the inspection was through the the employer front-door key to the carpenter and said, with gratitude, “This is your house… my gift to you.”

The carpenter was shocked!

What a shame! If he had only known he was building his own house, he would have done it all so differently.

So it is with us. We build our lives, a day at a time, often putting out less than our best efforts. Then, with a shock, we realize we have to live in the house we have built. If we could do it over, we would do it much differently.

However, you can’t go back. You are the carpenter, and every day you hammer a nail, place a board, or erect a wall. Always remember, “Life is a do-it-yourself project.” Your attitude, and the choices you make today, help build the “house” you will live in tomorrow.  Build wisely!

“Building Your House.”


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