by Chris Murray
A mother and a son debate wisdom in America. Inevitably, religion appears in their talk
I knew if I cut my own hair there’d be trouble.
God forbid I disturb our middle-class bubble.
‘You’re not particularly wise,’ she said.
‘I presume it’s coincidence you’ve got a shaved head.’
‘Impressive,’ said I. ‘How you say what you see.
And as for your “wisdom” I’ll call when in need.
‘What on Earth do you mean I’m not very wise?
I was top of my class, can’t you open your eyes?’
‘You poor dumb young fool, I don’t mean intellect.
I speak of gravitas and that which breeds respect.
‘Real wisdom cannot come from a book or a show,
It is only through faith that such a thing can grow.’
At this point I leaned back and glared at the sky.
She was talking about religion; I rolled my eyes.
In fairness I should have guessed; she was after all a nun,
And if someone could predict her mood you’d think it’d be her son.
But nevertheless, I can’t sit still and ignore,
When a girl who wants contraception is labeled a whore.
When those who would represent me are so beloved of strife,
They scream that love cannot exist between a woman and her wife.
You see, I’ve read books. I’m a smart guy,
And I’m fairly sure God understands why,
I read to learn and I yearn to educate,
Why would our academics be the subject of hate?
Wisdom may not be the same as IQ,
I said, ‘perhaps for me but I think not for you.’
But I know this, I feel this, It pounds in my heart.
You can’t teach wisdom with dogma as a start.
‘Dear God! If you exist why must you bombard me with this?’
She said, ‘How dare you talk that way!’ I said, ‘this is how I pray!’
There’s something more out there; there’s some sort of a plan.
If there is a God he wants us to find truth and understand.
Wisdom is in the learning,
It’s in the living,
In the evolving.
Wisdom is something we may never understand.
It just isn’t something we can grasp in the hand.
But we can still strive for it; we can change our whole outlook.
And every step we take down that road will have started with a book.