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Posted Jun 13 2009 12:17am

W    Wisdom, ah, that elusive trait.  We all admire those who have and we all want some for ourselves.  Wise people seem to exist on another plane.  Wisdom is defined asthe trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight.  So, you see, just amassing knowledge and experience is not enough.  If you don't apply it with common sense and insight, it's like learning how to hit home runs, but never getting up to bat in a game. 
    Wise people know they're wise.  Think of the Dali Lama.  He knows he's wise and he enjoys dispensing his wisdom immensely.  He likes to see the dawning of awareness on the face of his listeners.  Think of a wise teacher in high school explaining a difficult math equation.  When the light dawns in the minds of his students, he steps back and a slow smile spreads over his face.  That's because he has just imparted something that he possesses to someone who wants it.  How satisfying.
    Wise employees know when to speak up and when to remain silent.  They know when to take a chance and when to be cautious.  They understand that each patient is an individual and they can figure out how to speak to them in a way that reaches them.  They can see solutions to problems and answers to even the most confounding dilemmas.  They are the people who become the dentist's right hand and the staff's "go to" person. 
    If there is one thing I want more of, it is wisdom.  It's not money.  Money without wisdom will scatter to the wind.  It's not respect in itself.  Respect accompanies wisdom and to be respected for being wise is a true compliment.  I want more wisdom because I want to be better at what I do.  I want to cause as little harm as possible and to have the wisdom to change the experiences of the people I work with and the patients I care about for the better.  I want to come home and use that wisdom to be an understanding wife, and insightful mother and a dependable friend.  I know the value of wisdom because the people I admire most are wise. 
    Do you value wisdom and guide your employees to wise choices and thought patterns?  I believe that wisdom can be striven for, attained and increased by frequent use.  The next time you see an employee demonstrating wisdom, remark on it.  It's wise to encourage wisdom in your employees.

"Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom."
Charles Haddon Spurgeo
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