In keeping with the string of tips and stories about intelligence, truth, and wisdom, this is the reader’s digest summation. Wisdom chooses the best end, then achieves it by the best methods.
Easier said than done.
Getting lost in the weeds of esoteric ideas is no benefit if you want to be wise (and who doesn’t want to be?). Simple answers and concepts are the most helpful to get you and keep you on track.
The Best End
You may wish to grab a Venti-sized latté while you ponder what this means to you. It will take a while.
What is the mainspring of your life? What is your ultimate reason, purpose, goal? Why do you do what you do? What is it you’re hoping for?
The ultimate end of a person’s life dictates their life, morality, their praiseworthiness or guilt. It is the motive behind every decision. It is the mission statement, even if unspoken, deeply buried in the unconscious.
Wisdom is the choice of the best (most valuable) end.
Which is what exactly? What is the correct answer?
America’s founding documents declare it to be, “the pursuit of happiness”—but is the pursuit, or the happiness—the end?
If happiness; is that the most valuable end? Is your happiness more valuable than mine? It may be to you, but when weighed on a universal scale? Are they not equal?
And if that has you scratching your head, assuming a belief in God, is your happiness more valuable than God’s? And are you more deserving of happiness than God is?
That will keep the mental wheels spinning a while.
Lest we digress too much, a repetition is in order. Wisdom is the choice of the best end.
Oh, that’s easy, you say. Lots of money is the best, most valuable end. But is it? Is money more valuable than time? What is an extra hour at the end of your life going for on the open market nowadays? A day? A year? Pretty pricey if you can find a vendor.
Well, ok then, time is more valuable, you agree. But is time more valuable than health, or peace of mind? Would any reader wish to live for eternity with a tormented mind? Or with a debilitating illness?
No? Didn’t think so.
This explains why philosopher types are so vilified. So damn many questions!
Still, you must choose a worthy end of your own if you hope to be wise. Your choice of end shows your wisdom—or lack thereof. A hint: You’ve already chosen an end regardless of whether you know what it is. We all have. But you can move off the default choice, which is to live entirely with regard for your own momentary pleasures as fully as possible, to some more valuable and well-considered purpose.
The Best Way To Get There
This is going to have to wait for another treatment of its own. You’ve got plenty to work on.