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We Seek After Knowledge and Wisdom

This summer I have had the amazing opportunity to live in southeast Alaska where my husband got a job as a deep-sea fishing captain. This was a dream come true for both my husband and me. For a while now we have wanted to step away from our busy lives and recenter on the things that are truly important to us. We felt living in the backwoods of Alaska with no Wi-Fi and very little cell service would help us recenter and achieve that desire.  

On the very first day we arrived at our cabin in Alaska I sat in my rocking chair looking out the glass sliding door to a beautiful meadow. I remember how tranquil I felt. I watched the birds chase each other through the flowers. I was mesmerized as I watched the trees dance in the wind. I was in awe as two moose walked through grazing on the abundant willow only yards away from where I sat. It felt like I had taken a plane ride and landed right in paradise. 

The next afternoon, as I was spending time reading books to my 1-year-old daughter, a strange feeling of emptiness began to settle in my heart. For the next few days, this feeling persisted as I began to feel more and more uneasy. On the fourth day, I decided to go and visit the local library with my daughter. As I stepped inside and saw a computer, my heart jumped. I immediately pulled out my phone that I still carried everywhere despite not having any service, and connected to the Wi Fi. For the next couple of minutes my phone dinged with notifications:  updates of political situations, posts about what the president had tweeted this time, messages offering me a chance to get the newest and best (fill in the blank). Once I got my daughter settled in the play area and began scrolling through my newsfeed the uneasy feeling that had been persisting began to fade, but in its place a feeling of emptiness crept in. As I was inundated with the vast supply of information it struck me that the feeling of uneasiness I was experiencing the past few days came from feeling like I was missing out on “critical information.” As I took a minute to ponder on this realization I looked up into the big blue eyes of my daughter who was holding a book patiently waiting for me to place her on my lap and read to her. I have no idea how long she stood there waiting for me. It could have been mere seconds or minutes; I will never know. As I quickly placed my phone back in my pocket and picked her up, the feeling of emptiness began to fade. 

As Big Ocean Women, we seek after knowledge and wisdom. In a world inundated with information, I have found it easy to be content in the information gathering stage rather than putting forth the conscious effort of developing knowledge within a subject. However, just like the empty feeling I had as I scrolled through my feed, information alone will not sustain us, nor our families, nor our communities. It is my opinion that becoming a slave to the ever-turning wheel of the news cycle constantly being updated into the cyber world has a better chance of stopping the true development of knowledge than it does of promoting it. 

According to the Oxford dictionary, information is defined as “facts provided or learned about something or someone.” This is the level that is gleaned from spending time scrolling feeds and reading headlines. Although an important starting point in the acquisition of wisdom as it gives one a base understanding, it is only that:  a starting point. Knowledge is “facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.” This is where we must make the choice to dive deeper than the headlines and 280-character tweets. After acquiring information on a situation or subject it is important that we put in the effort to acquire additional information through either practical experience or broadening our education on the subject. This allows us to begin gaining the power/knowledge we need to stand for faith, family, and motherhood.  This last and most important step is that of developing wisdom. Wisdom is “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment. This is the final step of taking the information we gained, the experience and additional knowledge we sought out and using it for good. This step takes time and patience to achieve. It takes stepping away from the information wheel and allowing a higher source to teach us how we are to apply said knowledge within our personal realms of influence. It is the step where true confidence and peace can and are achieved.

This month as we focus on seeking after knowledge and wisdom I challenge you to evaluate where you spend the majority of your time and energy. Is it scrolling through media feeds, diving deeper into articles, actively participating in forums and events that will further your personal education, or spending the time to take that knowledge and develop it into wisdom? All of these steps are important as they have the potential to lead to being more empowered women. Only you will know where you need to make the adjustments that will give you increased confidence and peace.