It is reported that scientists have arrived at a new understanding of wisdom. It is, they say, merely the slowing down of the brain as we grow older (Telegraph, 25.6.10).
Wisdom, in the Ancient World beloved of Jews and Greeks alike, nothing but the slowing down of our brains? What a miserable decline!
Are we therefore to believe that young people are incapable of wisdom? The Jewish Scriptures relate the story of the young King Solomon who did not feel himself to be a worthy successor to his father David. He prayed for wisdom and God was pleased with his choice and granted his request. Unfortunately, indeed, Solomon seems to have been a good deal wiser when he was young than when he was older.
According to the scientists, wisdom is nothing more than the ability to act less impulsively than we did previously, which the slowing of the brain allows us to do. It may often be wise to resist and control our impulses. But I would suggest that the heart of wisdom is the ability to make right choices. God, speaking through his servant Moses, said to the Israelites, “I have set before you this day life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life.” (Deuteronomy, 30 v 19).
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