Welcome to Waging Wisdom, an open, safe, and distraction-free place for thinking, writing, and commenting about wisdom-based ways of thinking about contemporary life and living it wisely. We would love for you to join the conversation occasionally or just follow along quietly to see what develops.
Launched as a special project in January 2014, this blog remains something of an experiment. It seeks to offer practical wisdom-based ideas as a viable resource for advancing projects and ambitions in which human diversity is normative, cooperation is essential, and human flourishing is desired. That covers a lot of ground, of course, from family life to foreign policy.
In all areas of life today, beneficial relationships across differences seems to be becoming a thing of the past. We can find extreme examples of the disintegration – and the examples are not uncommon – in our own personal lives, in our cities, in our nations, and in international relations. This has become especially self-evident to everyone on an international scale since September 11, 2001, when the United States and many other nations (of all sorts) began changing their foreign policies to respond to that unprecedented terrorist attack.
Through many of those changes, and as responses to those changes, and as responses to those changes – you get the picture – we as individuals and we as nations and we as a world seem to be caught in a negative downward spiral. By losing touch with the voice of Lady Wisdom, who “cries” to all of us (as the ancient sages put it), we are increasingly unable to build cooperative and peaceable relations with one another.
If you want to know what is often missing in aggressive, adversarial, broken, or enemy relations, it is wisdom. By replacing wisdom-based ways of thinking and doing life with rigid adherence to various kinds of beliefs and policies, we are fostering adversarial relations, sectarian violence, and war. Most people don’t want this but they are not sure how it can be changed for the better.
Reliance on wisdom is vital for turning things around. Here’s why:
Wisdom does not try to make as wide as possible the gulf of dissimilarities between human beings or diverse cultures. It acknowledges non-negotiable beliefs, particularly religious ones, but Lady Wisdom’s way seeks to bring diverse peoples cooperatively and peaceable together, reasonably and responsibly, with respect of their conflicting core beliefs, as long as they are not violent ones, to build on basic interests and concerns that are held by all peoples everywhere.
There is a lot of that taking place today, despite the gloomy picture. The thing is, we rarely hear about it, largely due to the news media’s organizing principle: if it bleeds, it leads. So if your gaze is typically on the brutish, the nasty, and the violent you will not have seen the successes of people who have sought Lady Wisdom’s help to turn situations around for the better.
In hopes of showing how wisdom-based turnarounds can occur, this blog often focuses its gaze on the extreme: the unlikely (big) context of international relations between the United States and Muslim Middle East nations and on the directly related (smaller) context of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian relations. The synergy that occurs in the bigger or the smaller context, or in the influences that the one has on the other, either pulls us together for our mutual good or pits us against one another in damaged, disordered, or broken relations. If not war.
The ways of wisdom are paths of shalom, say the ancient sages. The articles on this blog try to show why this is possible, how it has occurred, and what might be possible.
Thank you for stopping by.
Here is the first post on this blog, which gets the conversation going. We sincerely hope that you will avail yourself of the “comments” area if an article catches your eye.