Sapere Aude: Dare To Be Wise

Horace, Ep.I.ii.40:

Dimidium facti, qui coepit, habet. Sapere Aude:
Incipe. Vivendi recte qui prorogat horam.
Rudsticus expectat dum defluat amnis: at ille
Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis aevum.

Translated to English:

He that begins has half done. Dare to be wise: make a beginning.
He that puts off time for living to right purpose is like a clown
Waiting for the stream to flow by; but still flows that stream,
And still will flow, rolling on forever.

I’ve been told time and time again by teachers, my father and my spirit guides that wisdom is making the right decision, at the right time, with the right motivation, producing the right outcome in every situation. But finding, let alone doing, the right thing tends to be near impossible. How is it possible for humans to achieve such an abstract concept as wisdom? Why do I have to be the one to make the first move?

The Abstract Concept of Wisdom: Another translation of Sapere Aude is ‘Dare To Think’. This offers insight into the composition of wisdom, implying it requires both a daring courage and the ability to critically think. Being able to think for yourself, to critically work through a problem in its entirety is half of the work of wisdom! Let’s talk about critical thinking for a second and I will try to break it down in its most basic form because I could go on for pages and pages about critical thinking.”Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking, while you’re thinking, in order to make your thinking better.” – Richard Paul

Critical thinking requires skill, understanding, a non-biased platform and the ability to self-correct. (Read that again because it’s important.) Start by observing the problem from the outside, step away from your feelings, look at all the angles of the problem, understand your own weaknesses, understand your own cultural views that might affect your decision making, and respect each viewpoint for their individual insights. Understand each angle without bias. It is our natural tendency to  look at someone else’s point of view and automatically judge them and that viewpoint without thinking about why we have reached that conclusion. KNOW THYSELF. If you do not know who you are or why you think the way you do then you need to step back and do a self-evaluation. Get to know yourself first, then try to understand others and the world around you. Most of the time, our own personal biases, cultures and experiences have closed us off to the possibility of receiving truth and wisdom. Trust your gut and inner voices, even when they are chiding you.

“Being a Druid is not a static position to achieve, but a mindset, a way of looking at and relating to life from a wider perspective than most people do a nd with different emphasis. The job is to be aware and stay aware, until the new habits and patterns of thinking and acting become habitual.” – Penny Billington ‘The Path of Druidry.’

Make The First Move: As Horace says, ‘Dare to Be Wise: Make A Beginning!’ When it comes to wisdom it takes courage and it takes action. First, the courage to put yourself aside and look at the problem with fresh eyes. Secondly, the courage to act upon that decision. The wise course of action is not going to float by your doorstep, and even if it does you still have to go out and get it! Very few people enjoy being the first one up on the dance floor, the first one to approach a cute person at the bar, the first one to initiate a conversation, the first one to answer the teacher’s question but that is what wisdom calls for. Wisdom is the ability to recognize truth and act upon it with bravery. So start that project, that life, that job or even defend that person, save that animal, stop that bully because it is the right decision, you’ve got the right motivation, it is the right place and the time is NOW!

The more you critically think the easier it comes to you. The more you take that leap of faith, be brave and follow your inner voice the easier it will be the next time to do the same. Wisdom, like all things in life, is a journey. Dare to be wise, and make your own beginnings!

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