Where Wisdom Comes From

Where Wisdom Comes From


“A smart person knows how to solve problems. A wise one knows how to prevent them.”

I am blessed with good teeth, perhaps because I take care of them on regular basis. For the last 33 years, my dentist Steven Oswald has ensured me that they’ve stayed in such good shape. On my last routine visit, the dental technician Jamal took an x-ray and pointed out that I needed extra images since I still have both of my wisdom teeth. (No wonder some consider me to be a wise guy!) I asked Jamal where he thought the wisdom was coming from? “It is given to those who listen to their Mama”, he said. And then he added, “Wisdom comes to those who seek advice”. Wow! What can it get simpler than that? And then of course, it depends from whom you are asking the advice, and whether you are willing to listen to it.

I started writing this story during a dinner at Hayes Bar and Grill. This is our favorite restaurant to go to before concerts at the Symphony or Opera. Fred, the host who is a regular reader of my emails, noticed me writing and asked about the subject. When I told him, “Where Wisdom Comes From”, without skipping a beat he said “From good food, of course.”

I believe that with age, people are becoming wiser not older. There is a story to support my belief.

In a faraway kingdom, a King decided that the old people were a burden to society and he declared to kill anyone over the age of 65. One young man decided to disobey the King’s decree and hid his father in a cave where he sustained him. Soon after that, the King was informed that there was a heavy chest seen in the water of the river close to the shore. He demanded at once to have it pulled out, but no one seemed able to do so. Then, the King promised a huge reward for the effort. The young man came to visit his father in the cave and hold him the story.

“Is there a tree growing by the river?” The father asked. “Go to the King and tell him that the chest is on this tree.”

The Young man went to the King and told him what he heard from his father and claimed the reward.

“Who was this wise man? Who told you about the location of the chest?” Asked the King.

Trembling for the life of his father, the young man admitted the source. Immediately, the King annulled his decree and since then wise-aged people were treated with respect.



According to a Bible story, when King Solomon inherited his throne, he had a dream in which he requested from God, “May You grant your servants an understanding heart, to judge your people, to distinguish between good and evil (1 Kings 3:5). Since he did not ask for riches, long life or death of his enemies, God said to him “Behold! I have given to you a wise and understanding heart.” (1 King 3:12). I think that it was through his wise and understanding heart that President Obama made the decision to restore a relationship with Cuba, which made many wise women I met in Havana very happy. You can see some of them here and more in my book Soy Cubano, I am Cuban. It is available as an e-book for $9.99 on BLURB or you may also purchase a hardcopy here.


Have a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous, and Wise New Year!

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