Of tolerance and wisdom

by Maxime Durocher, October 10, 2011

When I was just hitting puberty, there's one thing that annoyed the hell out of me... the girls saying that we, the boys, were not mature enough, that it was proven that they, the girls, were 2 years ahead of us. I always thought it unfair. I knew it was silly, but I didn't know why.

In my teen years, I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about this to come to the conclusion that "mature" was a biased term and too vague. More over, it seems that maturity didn't necessarily grow with time.

In my 20s, I preferred to think about wisdom rather than maturity, probably because it seemed to have loftier goals. It was still vague but I thought it had more substance to it. It also seemed to me that, like maturity, it didn't necessarily came with time, but I felt that it could be learned.

In my early 30s, a friend of mine, a lady, gave me an incredibly good definition of wisdom, but over time, with the memory I'm equipped with, I forgot all about it, even though I was able to hold on to it for about a year.

I'm now 37, and having just gone through some disorienting experience, I've realized that I think that wisdom is best described as tolerance. Why tolerance you say? Well, with tolerance, you can accept different viewpoints, and if you accept different viewpoints, you have a much broader view of any given situation, and if you do, you can better make a decision or help give perspective to a friend. Wisdom is best attained by looking at the whole picture. Not only from a logical point of view, but an emotional one too. If you can see everything, you can best make you mind.

Intolerance is a hard wall to hit. It's much easier to deal with a person who can say: « Yes, I understand what you're saying and even though I strongly disagree with you, I can appreciate the rest of you. We are obviously in disagreement, but we don't need to argue this point any further because it will only deteriorate our relationship. »

What is your definition of wisdom?