A friend of mine from North Africa and I were talking this last week about wisdom.
He said to me that America is a young country and doesn’t have wisdom.
He pointed to the ancient Chinese, Indian, African, and even Greek and Roman sources of wisdom, and said America has nothing comparable.
His ideas got me to thinking about the question:
Is there a particular kind of American wisdom?
How would you describe American wisdom?
My North African friend described Americans as pragmatic, intelligent, technologically innovative, but not necessarily wise.
My response to his idea was that American wisdom is built upon the wisdom traditions from around the world, and that maybe our wisdom was the ability to synthesize and learn from so many traditions including Native American wisdom.
This last weekend, I was invited to a wonderful dinner with two big inspirations in my life – Marvin Klein and Hunter Lovins. I see them both as very wise people who understand that America needs to change some of the ways we have been operating, while maintaining all that is important about our heritage, including our liberties that we hold so dear.
I certainly could point to many wise individuals in America, but I’m not sure that our overall culture is wise right now, but I believe it’s possible that a new kind of wisdom is emerging here.
A new “American” wisdom will have to deal with big issues like globablization, eradicating poverty and climate change. People like Marvin and Hunter give me hope that it’s possible to create a wiser America, one that some day future generations could look at, and say that American wisdom changed the world for the better.
I also see children growing up today as having the potential to be wiser than my generation. In fact, I believe kids like my own are the ones who will create a new kind of American wisdom.
What do you think?
This Week’s Meditation:
Is there a unique type of American wisdom?
How would you describe it?