Wisdom & Successful Living
Apart from the news of Kobe Bryant’s death and reflections on the shortness, surprises and vicissitudes of life, we have been working to establish successful and wise living. To date, we have found that wisdom is both from above and necessary in our daily living. It is a life skill that comes with knowledge and practice. It is the Hebrew term chokmah, which is seen as the synonym skillful living or wisely winding our lives around the circumstances of life we face. And last week we cautioned, be careful what we wish for.
In that sense, does it matter who you surround yourself with or have contact with on a regular basis? Every parent knows that children are susceptible to good and bad influences, in school and in their neighborhoods and groups, such that you attempt to steer them into associations that are positive and helpful. Does this matter for adults?
Recent studies in the American workplace have shown surprising results, which may be best described as “water runs easiest downhill.” In a workplace setting, a dynamic can play out when an underachiever is put into a team of high performers. The manager might think that this will result in the problematic employee picking up good habits from the others; however, studies have shown that the opposite is more likely to happen, and the bad habits will start to spread and bring down everyone’s performance. Therefore, as a responsible parent, employer, coach, neighborhood organizer, or even in family and group settings, the answer is yes, it matters.
In the words of Mark Twain, who caught something of the mischievousness of life, “Always obey your parents when they are present!” Or in the words of the New Testament. 1 Corinthians 15:3333Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” So, part of wisdom and wise living is not only what we do but who we do it with. A good 2020 goal is to review and, as needed, parcel out your relationships to the extent you can, to best provide for yourself the influences that encourage wise living.
– John Moore