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Understanding of Wisdom
Wisdom is defined as the possession of knowledge on what is true or right accompanied by just decisions and judgment whenever an action is undertaken. It is believed that wise people have got a lot of knowledge (Kekes 279).
Aristotle said that some have theoretical wisdom and others practical wisdom. Theoretical wisdom involves scientific knowledge alongside intuitive reason in relation to metaphysical reality. Practical wisdom is that which guides people to live well (Ryan 1).
Erikson purports that ego integrity derives from positive outcome during the last stages of life crisis. A person’s perception of his whole life creates a sense of satisfaction as well as contentment. The sense of satisfaction and integrity produces wisdom. Erickson defined wisdom as awareness above life in preparation for death (Erikson 61).
Wisdom has a lot to do with knowledge as well as ability to distinguish what is good or bad. This also features in Erikson’s ego integrity in the sense in which wisdom derives from satisfaction and contentment about a person’s life. The connection in the two approaches is that wisdom entails having a good experience with life itself and being able to make right judgments that go beyond ordinary issues.
Former South Africa’s President Nelson Mandela always exhibits great joy and happiness for his life both as a younger man and as a politician. Today, status quo government has deep respect for his legacy and seeks his guidance where appropriate. This in a way demonstrates that Nelson Mandela qualifies as a sage or a man of wisdom. The other reason is because he is seen to exhibit satisfaction and integrity whenever he speaks about political issues and life in general. He is accompanied with great joy after seeing many citizens free from political malice. This was among the vice he fought in his political struggles and that makes him a joyful man. The most important point is that Nelson Mandela feels he already achieved his dream which is a sign of ego integrity that leads to wisdom.
Late adulthood involves people aged 55 or 65 to death. This stage underscores two aspects of the person, namely, ego integrity versus despair and the basic outcome being wisdom (Erikson 63).
Therefore, it is the case that late adulthood is the epic of a person’s life. It can also be referred to as the last final leg of a person’s life as he awaits death. In this regard, late adulthood involves a lot of gazing back on what has been achieved in other stages of life. However, late adulthood may be characterized by physical and mental health concerns, age-related declines and disabilities and to say the least all of them can be debilitating.
However, age-related declines can be the most destructive compared to health issues. People that feel fruitless because of their age-related declines may feel devastated, for instance, the feeling that they might have wasted a lot of their energy and time instead of having utilized it to do constructive things in benefit of their families and communities.
Grief has been defined as a profound feeling of mental anguish due to bereavement. It is a deep feeling of distress and suffering (Kubler-Ross 36).
Almost everyone has gone through a moment of grief; obvious reasons include loss of a loved one, frustrations in life, disappointments and failure just to mention a few. The next few paragraphs will explain the different types of grief.
Anticipatory grief occurs where a person experiences some loss even where it has not taken place yet. For instance, this may take place where a loved is on the verge of dying and relatives or friends just wait for the would-be loss. It is held that the greatest pain with anticipatory grief is the extent to which loved ones struggle to come into terms with a person’s death (Erickson 1). Delayed grief refers to postponed experience of a loss. For instance, a person may fail to grief at the required time because of a busy schedule. Distorted grief is linked to anger or guilt and the person may direct it to the deceased or himself. Complicated grief involves complication resulting from adjustment disorders such as depression and anxiety (Houben 185).
The researcher has a special focus on anticipated grief following a personal experience. This dates back to a situation where a loved one was in bad health following an accident. The painful thing was to watch him go through that and the worst being witnessing his dying moments. This experience still lingers in the mind but then it is a resolved grief. It was hard to let go the experience and pain but all the same grieving over it again and again would not help in personal development. This experience took a period of six months and it was all pain and despair for everyone. This grief is yet to be resolved fully because it still remains a very deep cause of sadness.
Theories of Spirituality
According to Frankl’s Theory of Spirituality, there are three stages in which human life develops namely:
The somatic or physical dimension which states that individuals derive their motivation from their desire to stay alive including assisting other species to survive; in addition, such is an instinctual motivation right from birth and in the entire life. The psychosocial stage states that personality starts forming from birth and through instincts it achieves more development. Lastly, the noetic stage derives from childhood but then develops during late adolescence onwards. Here, the individual struggles to gain meaning of life per se.
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The second theory of spirituality refers to Jung’s approach.
In the first phase, he states that development of personality takes place through individuation; this is also the process of acquiring awareness as well as unifying the various elements of the mind (psyche). It is believed that people become individuated during their middle age, that is, at 35 years.
In the second Phase, Jung states that the individual at middle age become more introspective, therefore, much has to do with inner self. This is the time when the individual acquires “true adult spirituality”. Introspection seeks to find meaning in life, identification of values and activities one would indulge or invest in as one prepares for his death.
Wilson’s Theory of Spirituality asserts what socio-biologists believe, for instance, spirituality is influenced by genes and heredity. Religion and spirituality have got a symbiotic relationship and that they are beneficial to believers. The other observation is that all communities possess a religion; besides, people need to define simple regulations to address complex issues. Religion is best learnt during early stages of life.
It is worth mentioning that the most preferable theory of spirituality is the one coined by Wilson because of how it materializes spirituality. It somehow provides a biological platform in understanding spirituality.
Erickson, Beth. “What is Anticipatory Grief?” Johnson&Johnson. 2012. Web.
Erikson, Erick H. The Life Cycle Completed: A Review. New York: W.W. Norton, 1982. Print.
Houben, Ligia. Counseling Hispanics through Loss, Grief, and Bereavement: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals. New Your: Springer Publishing Company, 2011. Print.
Kekes, Joseph. “Wisdom”. American Philosophical Quarterly 20.3 (1983): 277-286. Print.
Kubler-Ross, Elisabeth and David Kessler. On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief through the Five Stages of Loss. New York: Scribner, 2005. Print.
Ryan, Sharon. “Wisdom“, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2008 Edition), Ed. Edward N. Zalta. 2007. Web.