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Foraging for wisdom, By Ngozi Bell


First and foremost is the question who or what is Wisdom and why should we forage for it? This piece has been scored using as its starting point a Biblical piece. Proverbs 4:5-9 explains Wisdom with such profundity that it created the perfect entry point for this piece.

Proverbs 4:5-9

Get wisdom, get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get[a] wisdom.
    Though it cost all you have,[b] get understanding.
Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honor you.
She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.”

Wisdom, it says is so important that you should go after it, in addition you must get wisdom’s decoder which is understanding. You must indeed get it at all costs because its reward replaces just about everything!

Reviewing Proverbs 4:5-9

These verses are so intriguing that they need deep engagement to unpack. 

First in verse 5 we are commanded to get Wisdom, to go after it, search widely for it till we find and take hold of it. 

Then we are told in the same vein to get understanding which is the decoder that makes wisdom plain and practicable.

We are shown that Wisdom is a personality and has a female gender and is responsive and reciprocates to stimuli

Then it goes on to say that Wisdom showcases or manifests her personality through key attributes:

Protection for the possessor – which she manifests in response to being welcomed and receiving constant attention or being made relevant. So long as Wisdom is not neglected, shunned or replaced as would happen with the turning of our backs on her, she offers guaranteed protection as defense and offense positions to her possessor. Protects against the opposition.

A Watch over the possessor – which she manifests in response to being loved and desired. As she is loved and desired, she places her protective gaze upon her possessor, looking out for him or her, ensuring their safety and success. Provides needed guidance.

 Makes the possessor Wise – which she manifests when you take hold of Wisdom and make her yours at any cost. When you make sacrifices to acquire her. You make her pursuit and acquisition your paramount goal such that you do not relent without taking possession of her. In turn she makes you wise, knowledgeable about the things that are not obvious. Gives you understanding of things that are not laid bare. Keeps you in the know supernaturally, so that you can respond with acuity and excellence of heart, mind and spirit. 

Understanding must accompany Wisdom as it ensures the proper application of Wisdom.

Bring about exaltation, a lifting up..high – which she manifests when you equally possess and cherish Understanding (her twin). Understanding gives Wisdom it’s “legs”, brings its reality to life. Understanding brings credibility to Wisdom, to yield real and tangible outcomes and activities. To cherish is to love deeply and fondly something. This is the passion you must place on Understanding and thereby Wisdom. When the possessor gets to this stage, their role, perception, and expectation by others is significantly elevated. That person becomes exalted above others and becomes sought after and treated differently and has uncommon access. That person is differentiated by a “lifting up”.

Brings about honor to the possessor – which she manifests when she is embraced, held on to closely with affection and a desire to be in proximity. To embrace means to wholly accept, desire, engage, be fully affiliated to someone in a way that is unforced, visible and continuous. It transforms a relationship to a forever lifestyle! To embrace is the ultimate acknowledgment that She belongs with you and you with Her.

Gives a garland to grace the head, visibly decorates, identifies, acknowledges, differentiates, and sets recipient apart with honor – which she manifests as part of the reciprocation for being embraced. You see a garland, also called a laurel can be in the form of a wreath, festoon or other beautiful material that is placed on a winner’s head or worn or hung on someone as a mark of honor or ornamentation. This is significant because it is an outward display of honor. She will make you standout, be the visible carrier and courier of success. She makes her recipient the subject of accolades, blessings, adulations and recognitions. You will be noticed!

She presents a glorious crown – which she manifests as part of the reward for being embraced. A glorious crown identifies that wearer as royalty, part of a splendid kingdom, highly esteemed. A glorious crown is an emblem of enduring favor, it does not fade away. It entails splendors, brightness, beauty, it brings about praise and honor and worthiness. You see Glory comes form a  word that describes the Very Nature of God Almighty and His Actions. His Majesty and Splendor. Putting this among the gifts that Wisdom gives denotes a level of elevation that is made manifest by Power from above, The Power of God. It is like Wisdom bestows a gift that comes directly from The Royal Nature of God. This is supernatural and truly mind blowing!

In summary, Wisdom is a big deal and a big Get. Wisdom is a personality twinned with Understanding. Wisdom brings uncommon Knowledge. Wisdom has a reciprocating nature that is so vital because the outcomes and the gifts it bestows are without comparison. We must search widely for it. It does not naturally reside by us, we must go and get it, we must obtain it to ourselves. Then when we acquire it we should not neglect it because it brings protection, brilliance, a setting apart and immeasurable, visible, unparalleled, prosperous identity, crowned with glory and made specific to the possessor.

The question then is how do we get it? How do we forage for Wisdom and Understanding

Wisdom and Understanding come from God. She is both an intangible and tangible Personality. To obtain Wisdom and Understanding that come from God, you would have to seek God period! 

The pursuit of Wisdom, Understanding and  Knowledge have universal principles. Wisdom is displayed in Uncommon Knowledge and Understanding which collectively is seeing what others can’t and having insight that others don’t have, which in turn fosters a response that others cannot make.

Some universal Principles in Foraging for Wisdom: 

Please note that from here on out, the use of Wisdom will encompass Understanding and uncommon Knowledge.

Principles are based on outcomes that follow a specific trigger input unless a modifier is inserted to change the effect of the triggers. Principles are laws, they are consistent and when modified morph into a new input+ to output+ equation.

Principle 1: A good life, showcased in good deeds done in humility displays Wisdom. Doing good deeds in humility carries Wisdom

Principle 2: Age and time can be the couriers of Wisdom. Past experiences that teaches, change and instruct for a better future, carry Wisdom. Use your experiences to make better judgments

Principle 3: Just as pride eventually generates disgrace, humility generates brings Wisdom. Be humble and Wisdom will come along to you.

Principle 4: Listening rather than talking, withholding rash verbal inputs will place the person in the category of the wise and one that has insights and the ability to discern things. This is even if, they have been mostly considered foolish. Those acts alone burnish their image.

Principle 5: Wisdom and Understanding are more valuable than gold and silver respectively, so anyone who gets wisdom has received a gift more precious than such precious stones. Anyone who has in their possession something of more value than items that have such undeniable and indisputable utility and commercial value will in turn by their wisdom live a fulfilled life they will love and enjoy and with their desire for understanding, cause themselves to prosper in many ways.

Principle 6: Wisdom displaces conflict because it allows the possessor take advice. Pride on the other hand will cause strife that can result in loss, pain and so many other issues.

Principle 7: A right thinking, and right acting person will speak Wisdom because they will speak what is just and those two go hand in hand.

Principle 8: The litmus test for true Wisdom is very robust, it is a both a yardstick and checklist for acknowledging the presence of Wisdom. It includes the following characteristics

  1. Wisdom is first and foremost pure – not contrived and having no evil agenda, not full of dirty tricks and wrong ideas even if it appears that the goal is for good. 
  2. After that Wisdom must be peace-loving – not bringing about new chaos or confusion. Even when something deserves rage and wild anger, Wisdom brings calm
  3. Wisdom must be considerate – making sure that it understands the context of engagement because that is important.
  4. Wisdom must be submissive – meaning that it must be under authority, not a law unto itself. 
  5. Wisdom must be full of mercy – that means that it displays forgiveness and restoration as a hallmark. 
  6. Wisdom must be full of good fruit – that means there must be demonstrable outcomes that have yielded good things. 
  7. Wisdom must be impartial – not taking sides, be fair, be equitable, not prejudiced against one side, not biased. It must be sincere – no hidden agenda, everything done in known, understood and perceived truth

So here you go. With these principles in tow, you can forage for Wisdom with the confidence that when you take possession of her, you will recognize and validate that you have indeed become wise.

I know this Truth that Wisdom lies in God and He will give generously to all who ask without finding fault.

About Ngozi Bell

Take a listen to this podcast Say It Skillfully® OUR VOICES – Ngozi & Okezue Bell, Carpe Diem! Tuesday, April 5, 2022 (voiceamerica.com)

Inspiration, Hard Work, Innovation. These three foundational elements anchor Ngozi’s core belief that manifesting the extraordinary is always within reach. Inspired by her mother A.C.Obikwere, a scientist and author, she learned the privilege of living at the edge of important encounters and dedicating herself to robust and perpetual learning. Ngozi’s background is a combination of Physics, Engineering, Venture Capital/Private Equity, regulations, and business where she has managed over $1B in cumulative revenue. Ngozi is a speaker, storyteller, and writer on a diverse set of topics including AI, iDLT, ML, Signal Processing, iOT, women, entrepreneurship and more. She contributes regularly to VOA, has been a TEDx speaker and is published on tech and non-tech platforms. She is a champion of STEM, women, youth, art and the Africa we must engage. Ngozi is an adjunct professor of Physics and management with work

experience in Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East, and North America. She is a founder of a number of a number of enterprises and host of the podcast Stem, Stocks and Stews (https://anchor.fm/stemstocksstews-podcast).

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