I’ve recently been pon­der­ing the ques­tion, what truly con­sti­tutes wis­dom? Can it be determ­ined by age, your intel­li­gence quo­tient or how many people read your web­log? It is a ques­tion that shall prob­ably forever elude me.

What promp­ted me to philo­soph­ise over this is my phys­ic­al state of health. I have spent at least half of 2006 par­tially debil­it­ated with some sort of ill­ness. Is this a sign of age, and is age a determ­in­ist­ic factor of wis­dom? Just yes­ter­day, I dis­covered my first fully-white strand of hair on my scalp. Not half-white, not grey, just plain white. A couple of days pri­or, I was told by doc­tors that I have a her­nia. This is a fol­low-on from two bouts of bron­chit­is (there was a notice­able gap in between), which had me cough­ing my lungs out over a peri­od of sev­er­al months, pla­cing stress on my abdom­in­al muscles. That in turn stemmed from an infec­tion that left me with laryngit­is. I can­’t even remem­ber what might have caused that. There was some con­cern that I might devel­op pneu­mo­nia (which incid­ent­ally is what felled James Brown yes­ter­day). That’s all on top of my usu­al issues with hay­fever and eczema.

I would­n’t go so far as to say that my body is col­lapsing (apart from my cho­les­ter­ol, I’m quite healthy over­all), but is this a har­binger of some­thing more? Are these signs of age, and if so, am I any wiser? Can I join the (in)famous grey­beard clique in the com­munity? Is there a form that I can sign, and do I need to remem­ber a secret hand­shake? Is there a sign that states “You must be this grey to enter”?

Far out… And this is only on the threshold of my 25th birthday…

Symbols of Wisdom? / Sridhar Dhanapalan by Sridhar Dhanapalan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA 4.0 licence.
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