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 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA 4.0 licence.