Opinion by New Life Foundation staff member, Phil Mitchell
Wisdom can be found in many places. In the writings of the Buddha. In the words of Krishna, the sayings of the prophets of the Jews, Jesus Christ and Mohammad.
But it seems wisdom, being found in so many places and in so many different books and teachers, can be illusive or lost to us. How can we find wisdom?
The Buddha explains clearly: Work.
If we listen carefully to the Buddha’s words, we understand that a lazy, idle man will never find the way to wisdom. But what is finding but looking for something? If we lose our car keys, we will turn our house upside down to look for them. That is work! If we lose something important in our life, we do whatever it takes to find it. Regardless of how difficult, regardless of how much the cost, we will work diligently to restore what was once ours.
We must put in the work.
And this applies to so many things in our lives. For, if wisdom will not simply fall from the sky without searching or working for it, how much more our material needs?
Proverbs tells us: “I passed by a lazy person’s field, the vineyard belonging to a person without sense. I saw that it was all overgrown with thistles. The ground was covered with weeds, and its stone fence was torn down.When I observed this, I took it to heart. I saw it and learned my lesson. . . . Just a little sleep, just a little slumber, just a little nap. Then your poverty will come like a drifter, and your need will come like a bandit.”
As the Buddha suggests, we must rise early. Possess a strong will and strong mind. Work hard. And only then we will find the way to wisdom!
Sounds like a lot of work to me! I just wonder how much effort will it take to actually find wisdom.
Put in the work. Every day. Every hour. Every minute. That is what I believe it means to live mindfully. Everything else is being lazy and idle and falls short of wisdom.
Phil leads the New Life mud building team.