Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | March 16, 2010

Sirach: Wisdom Lessons

So, my first day has gone well. I got up early to check on the flood situation ar work. The Passaic River crested and blocked all entry to the mall, so the mall was closed, and I had to make a few phone calls to let everybody know(As a lesson, we lose the day’s sales, and maybe tomorrow’s, so whatever gains we made will be lost and it will be a bear trying to make it up, just as I was beginning to actually enjoy the idea of bonusing this quarter, but there’s a proverb about that too!).

But I sat in contemplation, have been reading the Book of Sirach, did a great round of wu style tai chi, walked to the supermarket to buy supplies to clean the bathroom(I used four different chemicals which I know is dangerous and worked to avoid killing myself by accidentally mixing bleach and ammonia. I’m still alive, and the bathroom is sparkling!) I even cooked dinner for myself–oil and lots of garlic and mushrooms over pasta.

So, the wisdom: The beginning of wisdom is Fear of the Lord. What does this mean? It means walking the right path, engaging in correct action, choosing truth over the lie, being ethical, being moral. It means thinking before you speak, and not speaking too often. A wise man doesn’t talk much, but he doesn’t hesitate to speak when the time is right.

A wise man, as explained in both Sirach and the I Ching, and I’m sure other writings on wisdom, holds back, doesn’t let himself get pulled off balance, doesn’t succomb to wims or inordinate desires. The wise person is moderate in his judgments and decisions, isn’t quick to anger, isn’t greedy, isn’t selfish. A wise person is cautious and careful, aware of the the many snares that wait to pull him down.

A wise person avoids sin and sinful situations like the plague. A wise person is careful who he associates with, who he makes his friends. He avoids his enemies. He honors his parents, is good to his friends, is good to those in need, is good to those who work for him. Think before you speak or act. And do the right thing.

Walk the higher path of life and you will become wise. Blow with the winds, indulge yourself in every mundane pleasure, and you will become a fool.

There is a truth that has been avoided in the last generation, and it is the truth about the wicked, wickedness, and sinners. Even using the term wicked seems archaic, and it has taken on new connotations meaning cool, or amazing. But the truth is the same as it was in Sirach’s day–people who choose to do the wrong thing, who engage in evil actions, who defy common sense and are filled with lust, hate, greed, and anger, man, they may have their day now, but the day of judgment is coming for their asses!

All of us sin. We are human. But most of us feel bad and repent and try to do better. But for those who know and still do what they do, well…

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