Hi. Let me introduce myself. I’m Jaye--avid reader, writer, and freelance editor.
I was born midway through WWII, which places me a couple of years ahead of that large group known as the Baby Boomers. I'm a bit more than three-quarters of a century old. These days my body generally agrees with my chronological age, but it’s still difficult to wrap my mind around the thought that I'm considered elderly even though my name's on every geriatric mailing list extant. I may be old, but intend to keep my brain active in hopes it may never realize my actual age!
The idea for my Hubpages name, JayeWisdom, came from a book I read entitled, HOW TO LIVE, A Search for Wisdom from Old People (while they are still on this earth), written by Henry Alford and published by TwelveBooks, Hachette Book Group.
The premise of Alford's book, which contains interviews with famous, accomplished, and unusual people over the age of seventy, is that the longer we live, the more experiences we have to work from; therefore, the greater the chances we have something worthwhile to offer. It also posits the theory that a type of wisdom transpires from learning how to predict consequences of certain actions and that wisdom is often hard-won by making mistakes and learning not to repeat them. I agree with that concept. I've made my own share of mistakes and believe I've learned soundly from the consequences.
During the seven decades I’ve been on the planet, I’ve been learning in a myriad of ways. Everyone does, absorbing life's lessons as the years go by. Some knowledge comes to one easily. Other times it takes a figurative "slip, trip, and fall" in order for an individual to grasp an important lesson.
My mother was my first teacher and contributed to my lifelong passion for reading by helping me sound out words when I was four years old. Reading came easily to me and was so entertaining that it became my favorite activity. I've been reading avidly ever since, both for pleasure and to reap the knowledge contained between the covers of many volumes. A person who reads broadly has the means for self-education available.
It isn't even necessary these days to read from a book printed on paper, since so many books have been transferred to electronic reading devices, such as Amazon's Kindle, as well as the Internet. Search engines can find hundreds, tens of thousands, or even more entries about any topic you can imagine. Technology, with its continuous cutting-edge improvements, makes learning as easy as we want it to be.
All the same, reading, handling, and owning actual paper-and-board books are as essential to a bibliophile as food and water. That I do know to be fact, as I am a bibliophile for whom books are almost an obsession.
Growth of the Internet can now replace the reference department of a huge library, without the need to leave the comfort of one's chair or even pick up the phone. The main difference is you must consider the source of what you read online, sorting the wheat from the chaff to avoid absorbing erroneous information. Since anyone can post online, the Web is rife with inaccuracies. When researching, I look for reputable sources I can trust. That old saying, "Just because you read it in the newspaper doesn't mean it is true" is just as applicable for the Internet, so caution is advised. Caveat emptor -- even when you don't spend a cent!
Documentary videos and podcasts are also excellent media from which to learn about a plethora of topics. Anyone with a streaming video service has access to numerous informative and enjoyable documentaries and free podcasts are often offered via email.
Throughout my formal education, I seemed to prove the theory of left brain versus right brain dominance. (That theory has since been scientifically debunked, but my experience tells me there may be some level of accuracy in the hypothesis.) If I enjoyed a subject, as I did English grammar, spelling, literature, the soft sciences, sociology, psychology and anthropology, I absorbed the theories and rules eagerly.
On the other hand, advanced math, economics, and the hard sciences were subjects that I had to force-feed my brain, and, since I lacked the discipline of the true scholar, their concepts did not truly capture my imagination. My brain's choice (if that's the appropriate word) tends more toward creativity than logic. Obviously, I was not destined for a career in high finance or physics, although I harnessed adequate logic to see me successfully through a quarter-century career in human resources management.
Some of my life lessons were hard-won by making mistakes, living with the consequences, and gaining wisdom through hindsight. I recall my grandmother admonishing me when I was a young child, "I know more than you do, because I've been alive a lot longer than you have."
I don't believe simple longevity bestows great wisdom on anyone. The number of aging recidivist criminals locked away in prisons attests to the fact that some individuals refuse to develop understanding that might change their lives. A certain level of intelligence must be present, but, beyond that, the desire to learn is essential.
One can and should go on learning throughout life. Neuroscientific studies support the belief that older people can not only continue to learn, but some neurological abilities may actually increase with age. That news thrills me! I think the key to wisdom is keeping the mind open to new ideas and concepts, while exercising one's brain every day to ward off atrophy. Since I keep my brain quite busy with reading, writing and editing, working puzzles, playing Scrabble, and learning new things, it should have plenty of cerebral 'muscle tone.' I hope my "little gray cells" last in good working order as long as my physical body.
I'll be writing about a variety of topics on HubPages, some of which I'm knowledgeable about through experience, others through reading and research. I want to share things I've learned and, as time goes on, continue to learn. Some things I write may be just for fun. I hope you'll find my musings interesting and, perhaps, even helpful. Your opinions are welcome in each hub's "Comments" section. I hope you will join the discussions!
Update as of March, 2014: Regular readers may notice that I unpublished all of my short fiction previously available here on HubPages. I hope to publish a book-format collection of my short stories and expand the serial into a full-length novel. I appreciate the valuable feedback given me regarding my fiction by HubPages readers who faithfully read and commented about each story. Thanks for your suggestions and encouragement!
NOTE: All content published on this site is the intellectual property of the author, Jaye Denman (writing on HubPages as JayeWisdom), and, as such, is protected by all applicable Copyright laws.
No part of my work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any method without prior written permission from me.
Thank you for respecting my rights as an author.