When we look to another for wisdom, it is not data that we seek.
We want more than information; we need more.
We deserve more.
Data sends signals, whether standing on its own before us or alongside of it counterparts on a trend line or a scatter diagram.
Data may be objective, though I tend to think not, but its make up is anything but. Data is birthed in our profound lack of homogeneity. Data is how we sort through the chaos, but on its own it is neither good nor bad in and of itself.
How often have you heard someone insist that you give them the facts, show them the data. Of course data is important, but it will not unite us in understanding or resolution. Data can only mean something in our engagement of it with one another. More often than perhaps any of us prefer, this means we live with opposing views and all the snipes and barbs that accompany them.
Who decides what the facts actually are? Is the desire to claim that authority why we are so data driven?
Just before my grandfather died, he lifted his hand up towards my face and crooked his forefinger to bring me closer. He opened his mouth slowly. What he told me is private, but I guarantee you he did spout one last statistic with final breadth.
Wisdom requires time for experience to do its thing. It is the inexplicable aggregation of ever-changing context with the content of our lives.
Just how wise we become actually depends on what we hope wisdom means – hopefully something good, compelling, just.
Wisdom emerges from the quality of our lives, not from quantifying our largesse.
Sometimes it is short on patience; sometimes wisdom is not kind. But we need it. We need it to help us think about what is right, not merely what data indicates.