In the printed version of my book containing all these quotes, the Table of Contents is dead smack in the middle, serving as the “symbolic essay” to this quote. This design feature served three functions:
In the early 1990s, I had a pen pal from Mantua, Italy, named Beatrice Lomaglio. During our correspondence, she entered into a relationship. Not yet having been in a relationship, I asked her how it had changed her life. I expected an answer of many details since I had an idea of the complexities of romantic relationship. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by her elegant answer of how she now had to think about we, rather than about me, more often since many decisions involved her and her partner now, not just her as was before. I was also surprised because English was not Bea’s first language. Yet, here was this incredibly simple, well put, and accurate response staring back at me. I still have it since I had archived all her letters.
What’s the difference between wisdom, and conventional wisdom? Shouldn’t wisdom be sufficiently universal and timeless you shouldn’t have to qualify it with anything? And why conventional, of all qualifiers, meaning generally accepted as if common sense rather than wise knowledge known to a few? In that sense, conventional wisdom is an oxymoron, which is hardly wise, symbolically or literally.