You know, sometimes things hit you and you say…. hmmmm…or …wow! Possessing a whole lot of knowledge does not guarantee wisdom. It just means that one knows a lot of stuff! How, and through what avenues the knowledge is gained is always relative to the one seeking it and the sources they choose to utilize. Is knowledge gained for the sake of saying “I know things!?” or is knowledge gained for the sake of saying “I know things that I can utilize to make the world a better place. I know things that I can utilize to make better decisions in my actions and speech because, words, like wisdom, also have power! That’s another conversation for another day! Words have power! I am learning that “a better place” is once again, relative to the lens through which one is peering.
Some of you may have heard me say before that there are two things I pray for on a daily basis, wisdom, and discernment. Neither one is easily obtained. Both require knowledge of oneself, knowledge of the immediate environment, circumstances and climate of the culture, knowledge of worldwide circumstances, climate, and culture. It requires knowledge of past circumstances, climate, and culture both locally and worldwide. Wisdom and discernment require a lot! I have been blessed to live in countries other than the one I was born in. Do not get it twisted! I am a US citizen! LoL. Living abroad has shaped much of my perspectives on this world we live in. The world is so much bigger than our zip codes, yet we often view the world from within the confines of our zip code. The zip codes of our minds, and what we have either been taught or exposed to, all shape our perspectives.
Prior to living abroad, I always had a certain perception and admittedly certain stereotypes of foreign soils. It was not until I was able to visit or live among the culture of the different countries that my “zip code” mentality broadened. I have lived in Germany. I have traveled to England, France, Scotland, Wales, Spain, and Belgium. I think that’s it! I have circled back around by living in Hawaii for 5 years, before finally settling back on the mainland (continental US). I have seen and lived in a few zip codes. What is important in one zip code, is not even on the radar in another. What is a joke in one zip code and get someone killed in another! What is acceptable in one zip code, is forbidden in another. There are a multitude of reasons why! What is my point? Knowledge is gained by the expansion of the mind. A willingness to see the world through the lens of someone who may not look the same, worship the same, eat the same, live the same or believe the same as we do as individuals. This does not necessarily make anyone or anything outside of our “zip code” bad, it’s knowledge! It is understanding, it is acceptance. It is a willingness to embrace the content of the character of those whom we encounter. Let us all be challenged to explore the word outside of our respective zip codes. I can tell you from personal experience that I have met some beautiful people and have gained further knowledge by our encounters. Yes! Yes! I know, there are some people in certain cultures that have not been so beautiful. That can be said for any group of persons on this planet. As with any human encounter, we must assess the individual as they are, individuals, and not necessarily attach their behavior, beliefs, or actions, to their entire culture. If we did that, we could ALL say something negative about each other!
I have dined on foods that I never thought I would embrace. Admittedly encountered other dishes that I can do without but at least I can say I tried them! LoL! Fashion, dress, style for both male and female? My! My! My! Cultural habits that we may find, embarrassing, undesirable, and so on. Well I can think of one that some have begun to embrace, in the US, out of necessity and lack. All of a sudden, not so embarrassing, undesirable…and so on. Behold the Bidet!
Gaining knowledge can be relatively easy, implementing wisdom in what we do with the knowledge is the challenge. Knowledge is power! Expand your zip code! Gain wisdom! Wisdom will take you to places you have never been before. Embrace the journey!