Fade in. I’m sitting at a bar with a wonderful friend in a horrible suburban shopping mall. I ask her, “Where does all the wisdom go?”. She looks calmly up from her whiskey and says, “I don’t know”. She looks down into her glass then abruptly shouts “Wait!”. A few seconds pass, “……Yeah, I don’t know”
I had many conversations like this over the past few months. Sometimes in less horrible bars. Sometimes with less wonderful friends. Sometimes both the bar and the friend were wonderful but the jalapeño poppers sucked. Usually the same question though.
2011 was the year of accepting my lack of wisdom.
I had tremendous success in my career, but felt strangely empty about it. I spent way too much time in arguments with other computer programmers discussing things that barely mattered in a defensive and poorly factually supported manner. I chased love interests around the country when I knew there were serious underlying problems with the whole relationship. I missed great opportunities.
I had a major awakening about compassion. Deeply upset by some people’s reaction to the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, I turned to Buddhism and reaped major rewards. I learned to appreciate all people more. I learned to appreciate my friends even more than that. I learned to focus. At least to focus more than I ever have before. But mostly, I learned how little wisdom I have.
This will be the year that I figure out where at least some of the wisdom goes. I’ll be studying Philosophy at Cleveland State University. I’ll continue to be an engineer at Within3. I’ll be researching and validating all opinions before I head into an discussion. I’ll be taking the time to make sure my actions can possibly lead to a positive moment for someone. If they can not, then I will not take that action. I’ll be finding more and more compassion for everyone. I’ll be focused, deliberate, mindful, calm, and Buddhist. I’ll still be drunk, but a little less so.