The Wisdom Chronicle

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The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year in all genres. Each week, I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, Jim Whiddon

181. “GENTLEMEN’S” CLUBS “The average “gentlemen’s club” is not actually for gentlemen. Instead, it is a Palace of Perpetual Adolescence where incomplete males go to get on the cheap what they don’t have the guts to fight for righteously and make their own.”

Excerpt From: Mansfield, Stephen. “Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men.”



—Theodore Roosevelt”

183. OMNISCIENCE “As a blind man has no idea of colors,” Newton wrote, “so have we no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.”

Excerpt From: Dolnick, Edward. “The Clockwork Universe.”

184. TIMING “In the year 1600, for the crime of asserting that the Earth was one of an infinite number of planets, a man named Giordano Bruno was burned alive. Bruno, an Italian philosopher and mystic, had run afoul of the Inquisition. Charged with heresy, he was yanked from his prison cell, paraded through the streets of Rome, tied to a stake, and set afire. To ensure his silence in his last minutes, a metal spike had been driven through his tongue.

Almost exactly a century later, in 1705, the queen of England bestowed a knighthood on Isaac Newton. Among the achievements that won Newton universal admiration was this: he had convinced the world of the doctrine that had cost Giordano Bruno his life.”

Excerpt From: Dolnick, Edward. “The Clockwork Universe.”

185. AFRICAN PROVERB “When an old person dies, a library burns to the ground.”

186. ECONOMIC OUTCOMES “Democracy depends on equality, capitalism on inequality. Citizens in a democracy come to the public square with one vote each; participants in a capitalist economy arrive at the marketplace with unequal talents and resources and leave the marketplace with unequal rewards. Nor is inequality simply a side effect of capitalism. A capitalist economy can’t operate without it. The differing talents and resources of individuals are recruited and sorted by the differential rewards, which reinforce the original differences. Inequality drives the engine of capitalism…”

—H. W. Brands, in the Prologue to his book, American Colossus: The Triumph of

Capitalism 1865–1900

187. CHRISTIANITY “Christianity is not the sacrifice we make, but the sacrifice we trust.”


188. CHOICES “There is a choice you have to make, in everything you do. And you must always keep in mind the choice you make, makes you.”


189. WHAT R U GONNA DO? “God decided to have us intersect history, not at just any time, but at this time. He made us to be good at a few things and bad at a couple others. He made us to love some things and not like others. Most of all, He made us to dream. We were meant to dream a lot. We’re not just a cosmic biology experiment that ended up working. We’re part of God’s much bigger plan for the whole world. Just like God’s Son arrived here, so did you. And after Jesus arrived, God whispered to all of humanity . . . “It’s your move.” Heaven’s been leaning over the rails in the same way ever since you got here, waiting to see what you’ll do with your life.”

Excerpt From: Goff, Bob. “Love Does.”

190. GROW UP! “More adults, ages eighteen to forty-nine, watch the Cartoon Network than watch CNN. Readers as old as twenty-five are buying “young adult” fiction written expressly for teens. The average video gamester was eighteen in 1990; now he’s going on thirty. And no wonder: The National Academy of Sciences has, in 2002, redefined adolescence as the period extending from the onset of puberty, around twelve, to age thirty. The MacArthur Foundation has gone farther still, funding a major research project that argues that the “transition to

adulthood” doesn’t end until age thirty-four. This long, drawn-out “transition” jibes perfectly with two British surveys showing that 27 percent of adult children striking out on their own return home to live at least once; and that 46 percent of adult couples regard their parents’ houses as their “real” homes. Over in Italy, nearly one in three thirty-somethings never leave that “real” home in the first place. Neither have 25 percent of American men, ages eighteen to thirty. Maybe this helps explain why about one-third of the fifty-six million Americans sitting down to watch SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon each month in 2002 were between the ages of eighteen and forty-nine.”

Excerpt From: West, Diana. “The Death of the Grown-Up.”


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