Synthesizing Ancient Wisdom and Modern Thought
The founder of Values of the Wise, Jason Merchey is also a philosophical thinker, master’s level psychologist, proponent of the research ideal, social critic, author / essayist / blogger, and a student of the tradition of arts and letters. Growing up Jewish in a suburb of Los Angeles, he grappled with sociocultural, familial, religious, psychological, and self motivation issues that led to much of the insight he has today. After junior college, he earned a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in psychology and social behavior from the University of California Irvine, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa for excellence in liberal scholarship. Jason went on to earn a master’s degree in clinical psychology from California State University Fullerton. Having moved to San Diego, he obtained thousands hours of experience counseling clients of all types. It was in that capacity that Jason became intrigued by and began to study wisdom, values, and ethics.
The Values of the Wise™ website (www.ValuesoftheWise.com) and book series were born as ways to lead not only himself but also his clients to find the insight, consolation, and wisdom from great quotations representing our intellectual heritage. He is an admirer of the way Dale Carnegie framed his honoring of ancient wisdom and longs to fuse that heritage with modern, relevant, progressive values and ideals: “The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in a book. If you don’t like their rules, whose would you use?” He is also inspired by this quotation about wisdom and personal growth from Albert Einstein: “Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”
Jason’s first book was a book of quotations entitled Values of the Wise: Profound and Witty Words of Wisdom to Inspire and Empower Us (2003). Since then, there have been three well-regarded, top-shelf books on the concept of “a life of value.” The most recent book has been well-reviewed and award-winning: Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom. They all primarily utilize quotes and stories about values, wisdom, and self motivation as the basis for improving one’s life and gaining valuable insight. It has been a pleasure and a challenge to finally amass 30,000 quotations about “the values of the wise,” and Jason is still a dedicated reader, student, and lifelong learner.
Jason lives in the Charleston, South Carolina area with his wife and pets. He is pursuing a graduate certificate in philosophy and ethics from Harvard University Extension.
“When you know what your values are, and actively and passionately apply them in your life, you have found your self, and that is likely to make a positive impact on people both near and far. This is ‘a Life of Value.'”
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“Like a medieval monastic scribe illuminating manuscripts for the few, Jason Merchey is compiling the wisdom of the ages for the many – a cornucopia of insightful treasures.”, Co-founder and host of New Dimensions World Broadcasting Network; author of: A Time For Choices: Deep Dialogues For Deep Democracy; co-author of True Work: Doing What You Love and Loving What You Do
“Jason is doing more than almost anybody I know collecting real wisdom about values in our time. He’s bringing together all kinds of profound and interesting and accomplished people to tell their stories and to give a glimpse of their perspectives on the world. Nobody’s doing it like he is, so he’s benefiting a tremendous number of people with his books, radio show, and everything else he’s doing.” , philosopher and founder of the Morris Institute for Human Values; author of If Aristotle Ran General Motors, If Harry Potter Ran General Electric, as well as Philosophy for Dummies; former professor of philosophy and religion, Notre Dame University; consultant to corporations and organizations about bringing wisdom and values into the workplace
“The ancient Greek word for philosopher literally means a ‘lover of wisdom.’ Jason is indeed a philosopher, a lover of wisdom. I think his deep love of wisdom is his underlying motivation for his study of the values of the wise. The fact that he is a caring person impels him to share his philosophical passion with others. Further, knowing his concern for the broader picture, it seems that he knows encouraging people to love and pursue wisdom helps to make this a better world.” , Professor of Philosophy, Indiana State University and author of The Ethics of Star Trek as well as Catholicism and Liberal Democracy