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My understanding of tip #48 of The Seven Sages of Greece is to “Inspire kind acts and wise thoughts.” That is a complex problem because it requires a lot of experience and pondering of what that experience means to develop the needed wisdom, and it is a separate set of emotional experiences and thoughts that develop the habits that result in kind acts.

Wisdom requires a kind of predicting of probable future events that are inherently obscure and that requires personal experience, sanity in analyzing similar events, an intellectual ability to see relationships between those past events and the current possibilities, and an ability to convince other people of proper actions to optimize their likelihood of success.

To be kind is a separate ability and it is much more than just being nice. Being nice only requires following the clearly implied rules of your social group for appropriate behavior. Being kind is more difficult because it requires the ability to foresee the needs of another person, and to be willing and able to perform some action that will be helpful to their well-being. I attempted to illustrate that idea in the post Chopping wood, carrying water, shoveling snow. Those can be horrid tasks if a person is compelled to do them, but those same physical actions can be a joy for a person who is motivated by the desire to aid the people who will benefit from those kind acts. Doing a kind act is pleasurable to the doer of the act even though it requires effort that has no immediate monetary or other externally measurable payoffs.

Those ideas and experiences and the wisdom and kindnesses that result are difficult to acquire and nearly impossible to communicate to most people. However, there are many who are on the cusp of acquiring wisdom and kindness who would appreciate an illustration of those concepts put into observable behaviors. It is those people to whom the inspiration must be directed.

The question then becomes, “What would inspire people to kind acts and wise thoughts?” It would appear that inspiration could be observing one person do something for another person that helped that other person achieve a goal. When stated that way, a good example would be a mother helping her child by providing a nondirective situation for the child to develop some ability. That is, letting the child explore using its own choices of direction, and the mom only offering aid when it becomes overwhelmed by something and retreats.

The idea of inspiring kind acts and wise thoughts being presented here is similar to that from a mother to her child but it is intended for illustration to potentially wise adults.

 

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