Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

To Making it Count February 12, 2013

I’ve heard people say hindsight is 20/20. What is that about? I learn nothing from trying to chase my own tail around, so why would people? No. I prefer to dream bigger than my memories. I prefer to respect the past as part of my present on my journey to the future. And that’s coming from someone with animal instincts.

So why is it so tough for people to be themselves? To trust their instincts?

It’s not hard for Isabelle, Sam, Sophie and Abigail. They are the four little people in my life, and I learn a lot from them. Namely, they are fearless, they dream big, and they have absolutely no censorship clause on their thoughts. They are the embodiment of joy: from the ground up. And they have no idea how good they have it. “Youth is wasted on the young,” George Bernard Shaw said.Isabelle and I - Christmas 2012

Or is it? I’d rather think of youth as the building block of memories for one’s future. Good, bad, or indifferent, youth is a time of endless imagination and that is never a waste. But something changes between youth and adulthood that I think hardens the instincts. Up go the walls of cognitive censorship, and the next thing we know, we’re living life thinking hindsight is wiser than foresight. Where, in the midst of all this grown-up thinking, is gratitude? Imagination? Optimism?

This blog is called Wiley’s Wisdom: A Unique Perspective on Joy not because I think I’m particularly wise but because I make it my life’s mission to live a life of gratitude, which I know is better when shared. I give thanks for my life by giving back to the lives of others. “I figure life is a gift, and I don’t intend on wasting it,” as the humble street rat Jack Dawson said to his millionaire dining partners aboard the Titanic disaster that would ultimately take his life. “To making it count.”

His past was a valued part of who he was, but it didn’t get in the way of his (albeit short-lived) future. Nor will it get in the way of the future of my loved ones if I have anything to say about it.

That is one of many reasons why I think something valuable can be learned from the children in my life who disregard the opinions of others in favor of their own. Let’s do as they do and forget that 20/20 business. Let’s instead think like American mover and shaker Oprah Winfrey.

“Follow your instincts,” she said. “That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.”


13 Responses to “To Making it Count”

  1. seeker Says:

    Mr. Wiley, do you think your parents will allow me to take you for a walk and just hang out, you know. Just play. If not, may I use this post for future reference as an inspiration for being young at heart and tell the whole world? May I?

    • Ms. Seeker,

      I fear you may be too far away for us to go for an actual walk, but I consider our (almost) daily blog dialogue a highlight of my day.

      You should know that. Please keep this (and any) post for reference, and know that if our paths every cross in real life, I highly doubt my parents would contest playtime.

      And please tell the world….that’s my hope. 🙂


  2. You are adorable, Wiley. I love reading your wisdom.

  3. Judy Smith Says:

    What a beautiful post, Wiley — you are wise beyond your … years!

  4. As a Kindergarten teacher for 31 years my best friends were four years of age…oh how we did have fun, a great job when you can talk, read, draw, play, sing, dance, rest, eat, think and be friends. Enjoying your blog.

  5. […] I wake up each day with a mindset to see good in all people and things. […]

  6. […] breathe it into pictures drawn by the little people in my lives, like the one Sophie drew of my adoptive parents and I. I can’t help but notice the flying […]

  7. […] Little Schmidts – You are the little people in my lives, from whom I gain more wisdom than anyone else. Thank […]

  8. Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:

    Here’s to making it count every day.

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