The Wisdom
Exchange

With Patrick Mosher

A Wisdom Story about Divine Interruptions

Uncategorized Jul 22, 2019

Interruption.  The word itself makes us crinkle our noses!  Interruptions are SO annoying!  We get interrupted by a child's yelling at the mall.  By a rude driver as we cruise – late for an appointment.  By someone talking too loudly on their cellphone at the airport.   Just yesterday I was at Barnes & Noble and there was a young couple both on their cell phones.  The young man was playing music loud enough for both (and everyone else) to hear.   AARGH! 

What is an interruption?  Webster says to interrupt is an 'occasion when someone or something stops something from happening for a short period.' 

Yep, interruptions stop something from happening. We get sidetracked from our agenda.  Pulled from our reverie.  Our motion stops going forward at the same rate.   Off track and distracted.   BLECH!

Interruptions, though, are defined from a single reference point:  OURS! 

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An Unprecedented Time in Human History!

In the late 90's I was asked to speak on a Change Management panel.  About 60 people packed into the little classroom.  During Q&A, someone asked about the Graying of America.  The first two panelists gave their answers about investing in pharmaceuticals, boomerang parents and dementia.  Basically, the burden old folks put on our society.  I was next and I'm sure I gave an incredibly enlightened answer which I can't remember today. 

The fourth panelist glanced down at the three of us, looked at the crowd and said, "My fellow panelists have interesting and important perspectives, but I have a different one.  We are entering an unprecedented time in our human history when we have more wisdom on the planet than any other time.  And we're wasting it."  

You could hear a pin drop.

Something in me changed forever in that moment.  Ask yourself, do you feel like you are basking in the amazing wisdom that exists IN THIS MOMENT on our...

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A Wisdom Story about Table Manners

Do you remember setting the dinner table when you were a kid?

Table Manners was a high priority in our household.  Setting the table, just so.  Forks, spoons, knives and napkins all in their right place. 

Sitting at our dinner table, I can still hear my Dad's remarks bark across the table:

  • Get your elbows off the table
  • Your fork isn't a spoon
  • Sit up straight at the dinner table
  • Get the hair out of your eyes
  • Did you ask to be excused?

We didn't get dessert until everyone finished the main course.  Sometimes I fidgeted at the table as each person finished their meal, just ACHING to jump from the table to continue playing with my Matchbox cars! 

Ah, but I found a twist!  As the youngest of four children I discovered I could use that rule to exert my power over the entire family.  I learned how to eat REAL slow, all three of my siblings glaring at me.  Yes, 16 chews on this spoonful of peas is about right.  Chew.  Chew. ...

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The Portal Wisdom Story

The Portal Shows Up...

I was in a modern dance company with my friend Philip who turned professional after college.  He was in the national company of Norway and came through my hometown of Minneapolis on his way to participate in a one-week Lakota ceremony in the Black Hills of South Dakota.  He asked if I wanted to go with him.  And I said, 'Sure! '

It was the first time I'd ever been on Pine Ridge Reservation and the Black Hills.  First time I'd ever done a sweat lodge.  I mean, it was just magical!  At the end of the week, he said, "I'm leaving from here to go to a three-week ceremony.  Why don't you come with me?"   I told him I couldn't call up my corporate job on Saturday to tell them I'd be gone for another three weeks.  I'd have no job.  He responded, "And that's a problem?  Why?"  I explained again how important the job was to me and that it was rare in the corporate environment to take three weeks off. ...

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The Quest for Character

Have you ever wondered if you adequately develop your Character or show up with Character at work?  With your kids?  In your life? 

What Does Character Even Mean? 

Let's start with the definition of Character.  Webster dictionary gives us all sorts of definitions of the word, Character.

  • Attribute that distinguishes an individual
  • Mental or ethical traits that individualize a person, group or nation
  • Essential nature, strongly marked to distinguish
  • Moral excellence
  • Graphic symbol, as in an alphabet

What do you see as common elements in those five definitions of Character?  I see … DISTINGUISH.  After all, who wants to go to the movies or a watch a play or read a novel with bland characters?  Or how could you read an alphabet where all characters looked alike!?!  They must be distinguishable, each with their own sound or meaning.

The second common component in the five definitions of Character is ethical traits and moral...

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Wisdom Stories and Sound Decisions

I LOVE the definition of WISDOM as the soundness of act or decision based on good judgment, knowledge and experience.  I love it because Wisdom is in MOTION through our actions and decisions.  It's not just some bottled up concept that sits on a shelf.  Wisdom doesn't just sit in the brains of our elders! 

Want to make wise decisions and act wisely?  Yep, Me too!

The definition tells us HOW to act and decide with Wisdom.  We base them on good judgment, knowledge and experience.  Okay, I bet you're thinking, "I have experience.  I know stuff.  And I have good judgment." 

Are you wise? 

Ah, that leads us to the last key word in the definition:  Soundness.  There it is.  The qualifier.  The component that separates wheat from chaff.  Significance from Norm.  Soundness.

Soundness is a high standard to meet.  Webster dictionary says it is the ability to withstand force or stress without being...

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The Delphi Oracle: A Wisdom Story of Asking the Perfect Question

Uncategorized Jun 10, 2019

If you were 100% certain you would receive a 100% True answer from ANY question you could ask, what question would you ask?

Think about it and journal your thoughts. 

Tough to formulate that perfect question, isn't it? 

Did you ask a question about your life?  Your family?  Your health?  career?  Something about the future of the world? 

Wisdom Story of the Delphi Oracle

There is a fascinating story from Ancient Greece about receiving Truth.  In the temple at Delphi, there was a priestess called, the Delphi Oracle.  It was believed she would respond with truth when the proper ceremony was performed and your question, asked.

The King of Lydia, Croesus contemplated attacking the Persian army and wanted to know if he would be victorious.  He went to the Delphi Oracle and asked if he would defeat the Persian Army.  As the story goes, the Delphi Oracle responded, "If Croesus goes to war, he will destroy a great empire." 

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Wisdom Story of Authentic Chasm Moments

Have you ever had that moment when you're interacting with someone and time seems to stand still?  There's a million responses running around in your head.  You choose one.  The safe one.  20 minutes later you think to yourself, "OOOOHHHH!   I shoulda said BLANK!"

That, my friend, was an Authentic Chasm Moment….missed.

Let's switch it around.  Think about 5 moments in your life that were significant.  REALLY significant.  Write them down right now.

<jeopardy music plays>

I'd place a large bet that at least two of those five significant moments, there was an Authentic Chasm Moment.  A moment in time you took a diving leap of faith.  A HUGE risk.  The moment right after that Authentic Chasm Moment, you can't believe what came out of your mouth and yet, there it is.  Because you labelled it a significant moment, something purely magical happened next, right?

This too, is an Authentic Chasm Moment, but at the...

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Wisdom Stories and Cliffhangers

I looked at my Dad across the kitchen table.  Breathing tubes wrap around his face and the sound of air bursts every few seconds as an air compressor pushes oxygen through the tube.  We just spent a few hours talking about politics, the decay of our neighborhood and how washing machines just aren't worth repairing any more.  I relished these mundane topics and these times with him because I knew there were precious few remaining.

I thought about asking him the next question over the last few months.  A question about my ancestry.  About our relationship.  THE question.  I got a little nervous as the words swam around in my head like letters floating in alphabet soup.  The kitchen table seemed to stretch between us.  It is time. 

The Cliffhanger

Have you ever read a Dan Brown novel?  Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Inferno.  He is a modern master of the cliffhanger.  Every chapter ends in a mini cliffhanger so you...

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35 Dollar Wisdom Story of Servant Leadership

"I need to go grocery shopping today, Charles.  How much money do you have?"   Charles pulls his wallet out of his back pocket.  Looks in, "$35." 

Seems like a normal conversation, but it changed my life!  You see, I was visiting Charles and his family on Pine Ridge Reservation.  A few of us gathered around him at his front door, listening to him tell stories and share wisdoms from the Lakota ways of being. 

After Charles' wife went back into the house, it dawned on me.  $35.  That's ALL they have!  There's no bank account.  No money stuffed under the mattress.  9 kids and grandma and all they have is $35!!  That realization sunk into my brain.  I was taken aback by the level of faith he has that 'the universe will provide.' 

In the Presence of Wisdom

When you go into another culture, watch for these 'surprise' moments.  You have a choice.  You can judge these moments by your own culture's...

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