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Books by Nancy

My Wisdom That No One Wants Book Cover

My Wisdom That No One Wants

(Sunstone Press, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2010), nonfiction/inspiration, hardcover, 272 pages, ISBN: 978-0-86534-776-2,$29.95. eBook edition, ISBN 978-161-139-009-4, $23.99.

When Nancy Hopkins Reily was about fifty years old, she realized she had acquired wisdom. She felt privileged because not everyone has wisdom.

Through the years, not being a trivia conversationalist, Reily often entered conversations with short words of wisdom such as “Everyone has a story,” “She talks your right arm off and whispers in the socket,” and “We are not born with guilt, it’s a learned emotion.”

As family and friends remembered her short gems of wisdom, they often quoted them back to Reily. With her organizational skills, Reily composed her words of wisdom in a collection for all to read.

Nancy says:

“Years ago my daughter put a framed poster of short sayings in a garage sale. I asked her if I could have the sayings each in a different color. She agreed. I hung the sayings in my utility room bathroom.

“All too often women have to wait in line in public ladies’ restrooms. As I would wait I wished for something attractive to look at instead of the bare walls. I thought wouldn’t it be fun to have a poster of short sayings on the wall, like the one at home.

“The original intent was to publish my words of wisdom with each saying in different colors on a vertical poster for the public ladies’ restrooms. That led to writing a horizontal version for the men’s latrine. In time, I added more subjects on wisdom which could be hung horizontally or vertically.

“The whole concept became too much for posters and bathrooms, so here, in black and white is my wisdom that no one wants.”

Wisdom is considered in several ways: as a combination of knowledge and experience to improve a person; as the application of knowledge needed to live a good life; as the judicious and purposeful application of knowledge that society values; as a difference between wisdom and intelligence; the ability to know what is valuable in life; wisdom does not always increase with age; and a wise decision can be made with incomplete knowledge.

Some neuroscientists believe wisdom evolves from a small number of brain regions to form a credible network. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex controls emotions, processes ambiguity and acts as a disciplinarian father. The ventromedial prefrontal cortex supplies morality, self-reflection, decision making and acts as a nice, kind mother. The anterior cingulate cortex detects conflicts, makes decisions and acts as an uncle you would go to with difficult times. The limbic striatum is part of the brain’s reward system and acts like a friend. As these regions balance they lead to a collection of attributes known as wisdom.

Over a lifetime adults are divided into subgroups: young adults who are apprenticing life, the not so young adults who think they know everything, the thirty somethings who are approaching master craftsmanship in living, middle-aged contemplating denial, those of a “certain age” as described by the French, and finally the mature adult who has seen many crises.

As a young adult you wonder if you are supposed to acquire wisdom and when will your wisdom come forth. Through the years, if you acquire wisdom, then where do you keep it? One of the reasons you keep wisdom is so you can pass it on to others . . . when asked.

 

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