Whether you’re fascinated by psychology, philosophy, or science, you’re likely to find much of interest in this survey book by Stephen Hall. This is a search for the meaning and definition of “wisdom” with a capital W – sometimes interpreted to be emotional intelligence or an internal calmness. Hall’s journey reads like the script for a public television documentary, one that might have been entitled: “The Search for Wisdom.”
Boomers will like the conclusion that older persons are apparently wiser, calmer and far more content than those with their entire futures ahead of them. Research shows that younger people become angrier about daily slights and hold onto these negative feelings longer than their elders.
Although the language in this nonfiction work is generally clear, it unfortunately sometimes sounds like an academic textbook. It also often comes close to parody (“proverbs and aphorisms… are the cocktail peanuts of conventional wisdom”; large events in the world can “change the lens of one’s emotional view like a new prescription from a spiritual optometrist.”). Wisdom could have used a lot of wise editing, still it offers both old and young readers a chance to re-examine their lives and their yet-to-be-made choices.
Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.