“Memory is the mother of all wisdom.” – Aeschylus, ancient Greek tragedian (c. 525/524 – c. 456/455 BC)

I came about this quote last night while watching TV, and I was like, wow, how true.

First, we all know a lot of facts, and we have more than enough opinions. While opinions are our own, they do sometimes agree with others. Whereas facts are substantiated and stand the test of time. But neither opinions nor facts create wisdom.


Like most of you, I am a reservoir of useful and useless knowledge. While we are best at the things we are most knowledgeable about, that does not create wisdom. As I thought about the quote, I realized the “stuff” I hang onto and store in my memory. There are good and bad memories, things I never want to forget, and things I wish I could forget.

Over time, those thoughts we store allow us to have translation with our memories. I like to call it “situational occurrencness.” When this happens, our minds are triggered by past events that allow that particular memory to translate to our current circumstances, hopefully giving wisdom for the situation.

Wisdom comes from experience. Our past memories are of little use if we do not use them. Learning comes from recalling what was good and what was not. Application is key here to wisdom. Wisdom is a nuance. It has depth and substance. It brings value and leads to understanding. Most importantly, it can be developed with time. It’s about the memories.

Wisdom is like integrity; if you have to ask someone if you have it, odds are you do not. Here’s hoping that the memories you have can lead and direct your “situational occurrenceness” to foster positive outcomes in your life. Especially in leadership! Hopefully, it will enable you not to make the same mistake twice or, better yet, look like a genius because of your wisdom.

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2023 J Clay Norton

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