Wisdom is one of the grandest and oddest words out there, so lofty it doesn’t sound like something we could ever be. But wisdom deserves to be rehabilitated and take its place among a host of other, more typical aspirations we might have; we should be as keen to end up wise as we are to be thin or prosperous. Wisdom is just a very beautiful word for a set of qualities of character that enable us to face reality with serenity, good humour, kindness and resilience. Crucially, being wise is not something we are ever born. It is a skill that can be learnt, in part, by knowing what it is we are aiming at. This is a guide to what wisdom can be and at the same time, a gentle and elegant visual reminder to remain as wise as we are at our best and calmest moments.
Qualities examined: Realism, Politeness, Envy, Selfishness, Gratitude, Self-Acceptance, Resilience, Regrets, Sane Insanity, Forgiveness, Worldliness, Folly, Melancholy, Self-Knowledge, Scepticism, Simplicity, Vulnerability, Calm, Dishonesty.
Quotes from the cards:
‘The wise have made their peace with the yawning gap between how they would ideally be and what they are actually like. They are not ashamed of themselves, and, therefore, don’t have to lie or dissemble in front of others.’
– On Self-Acceptance
‘The wise are, first and foremost, ‘realistic’ about how difficult many things will be. Knowing that something difficult is being attempted doesn’t rob the wise of ambitions, but it makes them more steadfast, calmer and less prone to panic about the problems that will invariably come their way.’
– On Realism
‘The wise take seriously the business of laughing at themselves. They hedge their pronouncements; they are sceptical in their conclusions. Their certainties are not as brittle as those of others.’
– On Folly
Twenty cards with sustainably sourced FSC beech wood stand | buckram finish box | 220 x 158 x 25mm