Choices of Wisdom

I stood alone on the sand watching the waves move on shore.

I turned to see an old bearded man. He was bone dressed in skin.

He reached out to me, as though inviting me to join him.

I stood there, motionless, watching as he moved farther and farther away, hand still reaching, but I did not follow.

I realized that he represented a path to death, and to not go with him was a choice in wisdom. As I stood staring into the emptiness, where he had gone, the sand beneath my feet began to liquefy.

I began to sink. The more I struggled, the deeper I sank.

Then I realized that to struggle alone was not a choice of wisdom.

I needed help.

Coming to that realization opens the path for others to lend their support.

At that point, someone from behind reached down with both hands and pulled me out.

I learned that help often comes from unexpected sources, and to accept that help is a choice of wisdom. I learned that it isn’t good to stand still and do nothing, or we will sink, and that it isn’t good to struggle alone, or we will suffocate.

I learned that it’s a choice of wisdom not to choose a path that leads to death.

The choice of wisdom is to move forward, and by accepting support from others, then we can be supportive.

Wisdom is knowing what the right thing to do is, and then doing it.

It’s knowing when to act and when not to.


J. Santino 1994


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