When I was a kid, I hated the word “proper.” It’s just such an uptight word. I hated the notion that there was only one right way to be, or one right way to do things—and I certainly didn’t care to fit into anyone else’s idea of what that might be. I grew up in the South where, believe me, we have ideas about proper behavior for any given situation, including how a lady should sit (or not!) on a toilet in a gas station.
I still don’t really like the word because so much of what is proper is culturally determined. At the same time, age and wisdom have shown me that there really is a time and a place for “everything under the sun.” But how do you know the right time and the right place?
Wisdom is the key.
How do you know when it’s more effective to speak up versus keep your mouth shut? How do you know if it’s time to search or time to give up? Is this the time to plant, to build a business, to marry and have children, or to buy a home? Or is this a time to uproot, end a toxic relationship, give up on a dead-end job, change careers, move to a new town, or just sell everything and become a hippy?
Wisdom is your guide, and you will find heaps of it in the Proverbs. Granted, the Proverbs are not a Ouija board. You won’t find answers to specific questions like, “Should I take this job?” There are principles, though, that help you sort through the noise and anchor yourself to wise conclusions.
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding;
for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. Proverbs 3:13-14
This post is an excerpt from a book I’m writing about wisdom. The book focuses on the Proverbs and other books of wisdom. Stay tuned for more…
© 2011 L. Kay Johnson, L is for LaNita. All rights reserved.