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Jason Merchey the writer, philosophical thinker, and Master’s-level psychologist shares his perspectives on classical and modern applications of values, wisdom, ethics, and personal growth. The goal is to provide insight into what “a life of value” is and how one can live it. Quotations, proverbs, idioms, and historical facts often provide grist for the mill. Occasional guest blogs are featured as well.

A Time of Unprecedented Tribalism in America….

unprecedented tribalism June 21st, 2022

Now is a time of heightened threat, trouble, tribulation, and tumult for America.

We are beset by anxiety, risk, lack of clarity, fear, and in-fighting.

I really worry that we are facing a panoply of dangerous (and often self-created) problems!

Can we rise to the occasion, or will we crumble in the face of myriad threats and internal vulnerabilities? Will we listen to “our better angels,” as Lincoln put it? Or tear ourselves apart as we did in the Civil War?

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Wisdom: From Whence Does it Come?

Does wisdom come only form the mouths of babes? June 17th, 2022

Yikes! Controversial and possibly incendiary topic alert! It’s won’t be that bad. Here is the reason for the title: I published a book of quotations about values and wisdom in 2003. It must have had 1,000-1,500 quotes, just one after another, based on the value the quote represented (e.g., truth, justice, wisdom, passion, etc). No one had any problem with the Emersons, MLKs, John F. Ks, or Helen Kellers, but one person did not like my use of a quote by Hitler. He was Jewish, I imagine, and found the book unpalatable. He wrote me back with something along the lines of: “There is no way I could endorse a book that features a quote by Hitler.” So the questions arise: What is the purpose of wisdom? Could Hitler possibly have hit upon a vein of gold in his otherwise dank and unproductive mine of ideas? Was the professor wise, or foolish? How do we know when someone is imparting wisdom, or dropping a load of bull?

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Dealing with the Challenges and Pain of Life

challenges and pain June 14th, 2022

Wisdom is a complex topic. If you look it up in the dictionary, you will get a paper-thin definition—correct perhaps, in as far as it goes. What I tried to do in my 2022 book on the subject is to go beyond mere definition to metaphorically painting a picture of the phenomenon. In this blog, I will get into one aspect of wisdom: what I might term an efficient perception of how the world works, what humans are like, and how we can best cope with the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,” as Shakespeare put the vicissitudes and the turbulence we each face in life. This is existentialism; personal growth; the development of the self.

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What is the Nature of Human Nature?

what is the nature of human nature June 11th, 2022

Conventional wisdom says that human beings are selfish, tribalistic, violent, greedy, and so on. There is plenty of evidence for this when one looks at the sordid, dark history of humankind. We are talking of course about human nature—what people are and how we tend to behave as a whole, by and large, over time.
This blog explores the nature of human nature.

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Managing and Integrating Emotion is a Part of Wisdom

managing and integrating emotion June 8th, 2022

This blog offers some high points from the second chapter of the book Wisdom: A Very Valuable Virtue That Cannot Be Bought (2022). The chapter involves managing and integrating emotion, emotional intelligence, integrating emotion with intellect, using both halves of the brain (figuratively, more than literally)—all in an effort to be wiser and live with more self-control, happiness, and satisfaction.

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Wisdom from the Book THINK AGAIN

wisdom from the book think again June 6th, 2022

I am always on the lookout for a good book, preferably one that features wisdom, quotations, and is both enlightening and challenging!

In this blog, I present some of the quotations I believe represent wisdom from the book Think Again, by Adam Grant.

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Short Video Introducing My New Book, Wisdom

wisdom ranking June 4th, 2022

  My 15 minutes of fame!     Click below to learn more about my 2022 book titled Wisdom: A Very Valuable Virtue That Cannot Be Bought….

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Wisdom: Who, When and Why?

wisdom: Picard's Specialty? June 2nd, 2022

Who has wisdom? At what age is it likeliest? How can one develop it? What does it look like? Here are some practical characteristics of this challenging concept grounded in the idea that it takes more than just age to develop; it is based more on skill and perception than accumulation of years. If the 60s is the decade wisdom is likeliest, that makes the 20s and 30s virtually impossible to really grasp the nature of and importance of learning (beyond technique, such as how to repair a car or how to administer the law, which is more easily attained at younger ages). As well, a person in their 80s is probably too subject to cognitive decline to be the wisest among us. Though it can be heard “from the mouths of babes,” usually babes just cry, gossip, and whine. Read on to hear what some experts think is likely to result in not just knowledge, but wisdom.

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Wisdom is About Love, Kindness, Altruism & Generosity

wisdom is about love June 1st, 2022

In this blog, I will share some snippets from Chapter One of my new book, Wisdom: A Very Valuable Virtue That Cannot Be Bought (March, 2022). The thesis is that wisdom is about love, kindness, altruism & generosity. These are some of the highest levels of human development, psychological sophistication, and societal progress. So, it is fitting that the first chapter in the book is about these beautiful values and virtues.

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What Do Mass Shootings and Wisdom Have in Common?

mass shootings and wisdom May 28th, 2022

What do mass shootings and wisdom have in common?

How did America go from putting astronauts on the moon and boasting millions of middle-class families to banning books and borrowing money endlessly??

How do the wealthy and powerful stay so wealthy and powerful while there is so much pain and privation for 90% of people in society?

America is suffering gravely from an astonishing lack of wisdom!

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