Wisdom

Wisdom


A Life of Value: 101 Good Ideas

Living a Life of Value June 18th, 2017

A life of value is a way of looking at oneself and the world that strikes a balance between doing what feels right/what fulfills you and what will benefit others in the world (and the world itself). A life of value is not about being a monk or miser or saint. It is fairer to say that a life of value is what one lives when one feels good, and also does good. It can indeed be a bit unclear just what this concept is, so here is a list of 101 things you can do, starting now, to improve your life. Ideally these simple ideas inspire and challenge. I have divided them up into two categories: more “self-oriented” things (e.g., listening to music or traveling) and more “helpful” things (e.g., write your Congressperson or vote with your dollars).

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Philosophical Books: Three Down-to-Earth Ones

philosophical books June 17th, 2017

Philosophical books often don’t win many prizes. They can be difficult, abstruse, antiquated, or just plain boring. Most of us realize the power and the merit of reading in the field of philosophy, but are wary of picking up a Nietzsche book. Now, I do recommend the readable and fairly wide-ranging book Philosophy for Dummies, by public philosopher extraordinaire, Tom Morris, Ph.D. However, that is only going to take you so far because it is necessarily wide in its breadth. It’s a good “Cliff’s Notes” version of the field of philosophy, but it isn’t as deep in the area of applied philosophy as you are probably needing. That is where Values of the Wise comes in. Read on for more insight into three wonderful, philosophical books that you can really sink your teeth into and get a lot out of. 

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“My Golden Trophies Are More Like Yellow”

golden trophies June 15th, 2017

My search for romantic love has seen some frustrating years, when fulfillment and joy seemed out of reach. Here is a stanza that characterizes this poem about belonging and meaning:

I will, at the current rate,
Die a lonely and heartbroken fellow.
Though I have won accolades, 
My golden trophies are more like yellow.

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Engaging in Socratic Dialogue

Socratic dialogue June 15th, 2017

There is something called Socratic dialogue. Essentially, two individuals engage in a conversation – a dialectic, as it is known – and they try to figure out the nature of the question and try to formulate an answer that is logical, rational, true, and correct. It’s not easy, but it is probably better to have a knowledgeable person work in concert with you if you are trying to figure out truth. This takes wisdom, obviously. Though it is not quite ready to be “an app,” there is something about the Socratic method that can be learned and useful to an individual even sans interlocutor, if you will. Thus, I will share with you my notes on what Socratic dialogue is all about. May it lead you one step closer to wisdom!

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Books on Values: Building a Life of Value

one of the best books on values June 3rd, 2017

Values of the Wise has three wonderful, insightful books on values that range from $8 to $20. They primarily use quotations to evoke wisdom and inspiration. They are organized by value: in other words, the chapter on Truth & Justice features an introductory essay, eighteen pages of some of the best and most unique quotations on the subjects, and then a closing essay. The book is very accessible because you can flip to any page and start reading; there is no need to start at the beginning and read it like a novel. One doesn’t wear all of one’s jewelry (or clothes) every single day, and the same is true for the wisdom present in this book that Diane Zehr, Pastor of Florence Christian Church in Florence, KY describes with the following words:

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Wisdom: From Whence Does it Come?

Does wisdom come only form the mouths of babes? June 1st, 2017

Yikes! Controversial and possibly incendiary topic alert! It’s won’t be that bad. Here is the reason for the title: I published a book of quotations about values and wisdom in 2003. It must have had 1,000-1,500 quotes, just one after another, based on the value the quote represented (e.g., truth, justice, wisdom, passion, etc). No one had any problem with the Emersons, MLKs, John F. Ks, or Helen Kellers, but one person did not like my use of a quote by Hitler. He was Jewish, I imagine, and found the book unpalatable. He wrote me back with something along the lines of: “There is no way I could endorse a book that features a quote by Hitler.” So the questions arise: What is the purpose of wisdom? Could Hitler possibly have hit upon a vein of gold in his otherwise dank and unproductive mine of ideas? Was the professor wise, or foolish? How do we know when someone is imparting wisdom, or dropping a load of bull?

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Wise Words About Life: The Wisdom Archive

wise words about life May 23rd, 2017

This is the page you need to see if you are searching for wise words about life! The Wisdom Archive is home to 25,000 great quotations on values & wisdom! I have collected these apt examples of values over a 13-year period. I have spent much money, energy, and time digitizing the collection and making it searchable based on keyword, subject, author name, author gender, value, and author ethnic background. No quotes about “fun” or “dogs” or “cooking” here! Indeed, these are the best quotes, the ultimate in wise words about life when it comes to values, wisdom, and ethics. How much does the Wisdom Archive cost? Nothing! Are there a bunch of ads that cheapen the site and the user experience? Negative!

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Lightheartedness and Humor are Virtues

lightheartedness relaxes the mind May 20th, 2017

Justice, honor, and courage are certainly considered virtues. However, lightheartedness (mirth, joviality, relaxedness) is a great way to live life. These states of mind and attitudes don’t have the gravitas and long history of such cardinal virtues as wisdom, peace, and rationality, but consider the following: “What else can so enjoyably exercise the heart and boost the mood? What else can serve so well as both a social signal and a conversational lubricant? What else can bond parents to children, siblings to one another, and teach powerful lessons about staying alive in a tooth-and-claw world? Laughter may seem like little more than evolution’s whoopee cushion, but if scientists studying it are right, we owe it an awful lot of thanks for some surprisingly serious things” ~ Jeffrey Kluger. Read on to find out more insight and inspiration for living a life that is as fulfilling, refreshing, and rewarding as one of study, industry, money-making, or righteousness. 

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“The Courage to Feel”

the courage to feel May 17th, 2017

This is a sad, almost pitiful, paen about hurt, loss, and loneliness, but also the courage to feel, and perhaps, heal. An exemplary stanza is:

This is all true my friend.
I too have been hurt, and I am still reeling;
The world can hurt like that.
But don’t let it make you lose your feeling.

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Inspirational Books for Personal Growth

inspirational books May 15th, 2017

ValuesoftheWise.com features three unique, beautiful, carefully-created inspirational books that can enlighten, educate and edify. Many readers and endorsers believe that each has a special ability to inspire personal growth and foster greater wisdom! Each is about values, wisdom, and ethics, and they are all unique. Debra Lindholm, Executive Director of San Diego’s Foundation for Women said the following about Values of the Wise: “We all need inspiration and role models; we all grow and learn from each other. The quotations in Merchey’s book[s] provide just that — inspiration and knowledge for our journey together.” I am appreciative to Ms. Lindholm; it’s an honor for such a great woman from such a significant and impactful non-profit organization to endorse Values of the Wise.  
Read on to find out why others find these books so valuable. 

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