Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Destiny, Growth, and the Return of Owls

As long as we are persistence in our pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.

- Denis Waitley -

This quote caught my eye, then the article it headed, then the original article from which it came. A few brief excerpts are below, but it is well worth the full read.

In this important article, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman asks us to reconsider how we evaluate an individual's potential. We tend to "conceptualize ability as a static property, something hard-wired into the brain by genes that are prepackaged and already activated at birth." And if someone does not display that hard-wired ability early on, we dismiss him or her as un-gifted and less likely to succeed. The reality of achievement is far more complicated: abilities often reveal themselves over time, are fostered by finding purpose which may come at any stage in life, and can develop from facing obstacles that we often consider road blocks to success. Here Kaufman makes a compelling case for treating everyone in our lives as if they have the potential for greatness. { read more }   (from
And for those of us further along the aging process:
Young brains may be faster at memorizing Backstreet Boys lyrics, but older brains have some clever tricks up their neuronal sleeve that put all the years of ripening to good use. In the brain, information gets passed through wires called axons. Helping the wires deliver the information is a fatty coating called the myelin sheath. Research by neurologist George Bartzokis and his colleagues at UCLA suggests that as we develop, we lay down more of these sheaths, transforming the brain into a high-speed, wide-bandwidth Internet-like system.
Myelin speeds the transmission of information, but knowledge itself, and the proliferation of nerve connections and circuits by which we access it, depend on the acquisition of experience. And that takes time. "We become wise by being able to access information differently with a wider perspective," says Bartzokis.
And wisdom??
It can be difficult to define Wisdom, but people generally recognize it when they encounter it. Psychologists pretty much agree it involves an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as its ups and downs. There's an awareness of how things play out over time, and it confers a sense of balance.
Wise people generally share an optimism that life's problems can be solved and experience a certain amount of calm in facing difficult decisions. Intelligence—if only anyone could figure out exactly what it is—may be necessary for wisdom, but it definitely isn't sufficient; an ability to see the big picture, a sense of proportion, and considerable introspection also contribute to its development.

The return of owls (ceramic, embroidered, patterned) in the stores and craft shops (didn't we all see these in the 60's and 70's?) makes more sense to me now.  Owls...wisdom...healthy axons....all connected!  (Hmmm, and yes, it's a little scary how some of my axons are connected.)


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