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The essence of wisdom is the ability to choose an action in every moment that will bring about an optimal outcome. There is a combination of factors that are needed to implement that perfect act, and the hereditary DNA that has been based on billions of years of experience and bred into a species has brought it into an existence that has broadly functional automatic behaviors.

Humans, in addition to those built-in behaviors, can learn from other humans, because of their language abilities, the probable future for many routine things. They also have some individual ability to look at situations actually in front of them and predict things that may happen in the future and this may be a type of wisdom available to all higher animals. Consider how predators will stealthily lie in wait, trying to predict the movements of their prey, and seize the optimal moment to attack. These habits may be built into their DNA but they also seem to have some individual observational planning.

There may be a normal statistical distribution of genetic ability for wisdom in humans. I don’t know of any existing test for that ability, but it might be an interesting test to create. It would, of course, gather even more furious controversy than IQ tests. Like IQ a WQ (Wisdom Quotient) would be profoundly influenced by the individual’s social environment over their lifetime of experience.

Discussed yesterday was the emotional state of a person which can be defined and compared on an Emotional Thriving scale (ET) of: 1. Wonderful, 2. Good, 3. Okay, 4. Difficult, 5. Catastrophic. That scale was intended to be applicable to all of Ben Franklin’s basic virtues of – happy, healthy, wise and wealthy. This present application of those virtues to wisdom isn’t intended to be a WQ scale; rather it is a brief description of various levels of wise behavior for describing an individual’s past conduct.

Wonderful wisdom is the ability to choose an action in every moment that will bring about an optimal outcome. The acts are ones which are beneficial to future humanity and maximize the health, happiness, wisdom and wealth of all currently living people.

Good wisdom is being able to consistently do things which benefit the individual and those dear to them. That will include friends, family, and the obvious things for the world’s environment.

Okay wisdom is seeing cause and effect clearly enough to maintain friendly permanent social relationships, to be a good worker and able to be relied upon for routine work to be accomplished on time with little supervision.

Difficult wisdom is associated with enough foresight to usually stay out of legal trouble but the person has no reliable long-term friends, and there is usually difficulty with family relations.

Catastrophic wisdom would be an individual’s propensity to choose actions that consistently get them into a worse physical and mental condition. What forethought they have is so dedicated to instantaneous ego pleasure that the results of those acts bring trouble and injuries to themselves and others.

Wisdom is more valuable than rubies.” “Get wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding.