Truth and Wisdom
I have been born again and again
and each time, I have found something to love.
~ Gordon Parks
When I was a teenager, I longed for two things: truth and wisdom. It might sound a little nerdy, but that is indeed who I was. Sure, I wanted some of the other things that teenagers wanted too, like a new pair of shoes, a cool outfit, the latest record album by a group I loved, or to hang out with my friends.
But I also cherished solitary moments walking along Cherry Blossom Lane in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens when the blossoms were fully bloomed and cascading from the trees, covering the ground several inches deep like pink snow. It was an ideal place to contemplate some new idea I’d discovered or something about life or the future or the world as it was presenting itself to me. I’d aimlessly wander the garden’s serene paths deep in thought, reassured that wherever the paths took me I’d land in a place of beauty.
I wanted to know truth and I wanted wisdom. I sensed that these were two things that, once obtained, could never be taken from me. I wanted truth so that I was not living in falseness and with falsehoods which I sensed all around me. I admit that at the time I believed truth was some singular thing on a binary and it was either this or that. It has taken me a lifetime to learn that isn’t so. That truth is so nuanced, so colored by the lens through which we are viewing the world. That it is possible for there to be a room full of truths in a room full of people – even when the people appear on the surface to be quite similar. I am not casually musing here about the accuracy of facts –that’s a whole other thing. But it is wisdom from living that has taught me that truth is quite nuanced.
I’ve also come to realize that truth and wisdom are lifelong learnings and even a simple realization of either seems to take as long as we are here. As long as we choose to keep our eyes and ears and, most of all, our hearts open. And so I have not ceased longing for them both, though much of my focus now is on simply being kind and compassionate. As an adult, these two things are huge and quite enough for me. In part, because I have so much to learn about them as well, as the two tangible and accessible ways I can commit to living a life of love – embodying it and offering it out to the world.
I’ve learned that living into these is also not as easy as I’d wish. Though what constantly draws me to them is a simple little truth I’ve discovered that, who we are is what creates the world. Every drop of our kindness creates more kindness. Every drop of our compassion creates more compassion. Every drop of our hatred creates more hatred.
Sometimes I see others embodying and exuding qualities of love in ways I don’t even come close to. It is quite humbling. But I am traveling my path committed to keeping my eyes, ears and heart open each day to ways I might become better at loving more fully, wholly and deeply. And perhaps, by the time I leave this earth plane, I might embody love as truth and wisdom made manifest.