Leaning Toward Wisdom: Why I’m ReLaunching A Podcast You Likely Have Never Heard Before

Trees grow toward the sun. I’m trying to grow toward wisdom.

On May 28, 2010 I released the first episode of a podcast called Leaning Toward Wisdom. As you’d imagine, it was at LeaningTowardWisdom.com. I registered that domain on February 1, 2005.

Years earlier, in 1999, I had started my first blog – we called them “journals” back then – at RandyCantrell.com. Podcasting was yet to come. According to the history of podcasting at Wikipedia, “audioblogging” started in the 1980’s, but I wasn’t savvy enough to know about it.

In 2005 I was blogging  fairly regularly at Leaning Toward Wisdom. I went through a few variations of the website design. I even got a local tech whiz to give me a killer design, built on Expression Engine. WordPress wasn’t yet on anybody’s radar.

I continued to blog there – mostly focused on subjects I felt were part of my own efforts to grow wiser. Topics ranged from books read, to music heard, to lessons life had taught to business challenges I had learned to overcome. It was much more than a personal journal, but I included tidbits of personal information every now and again.

By 2010 I had discovered podcasting so I launched a podcast, releasing one episode to every 2-4 blog posts. The topics didn’t change, except now I was able to add my literal voice to the content.

Within a few months I had morphed toward a topic my son and I were passionate about – education. I was weary with talking mostly business. Besides, in 2008 I had begun podcasting right here at Bula Network. Most of the topcis here were related to business. It just didn’t make any sense to have that focus somewhere else, too.

I began to blog and podcast about teaching children and education from the perspective of a entrepreneurship and business building. The very meaning of ENTREPRENEUR means “accepting responsibility for the outcome.” That seemed fitting to any human endeavor, especially the field of education where so many people point fingers at others.

Children suffer because too many adults are busy looking for others to blame while another generation enters society less prepared than they could be. Everybody wants to blame the government. Others want to blame the teachers, or the teachers’ unions. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but when I took Leaning Toward Wisdom into the field of education, I was irked that nobody seemed to be accepting responsibility for the outcome.

My idea – which is still sound – was to approach education as an outsider, a business guy. The focus was on that meaning of entrepreneurship, namely, accepting responsibility for the outcome. The effort was focused on all of us. I posed the question, “What would happen if we ALL accepted responsibility for the outcome of raising wise children?”

About a dozen episodes in I knew it wasn’t going to resonante. What a lifetime of business experience had taught me wasn’t resonating with people in education. At least not yet. And my resolve to continue started to weaken. And die.

I still felt strongly about the idea. Today, I still think the field of education has much to learn, but too much time in academia has jaded the great majority of educators. I grew increasingly jaded myself, but in a different direction from what I was encountering in educators. I was jaded against their stubbornness to consider anything outside their known norm. I found quite a few teachers who were as politically motivated as the politicians. I had too many conversations that never focused on the kids – the students. It reminded me of my days coaching young kids with overbearing parents and thinking, “We’d all have a grand time if we could get these idiot parents to stay home!”

Adults can ruin just about anything.

Let’s sit and talk.

It’s time to invite you into my backyard where we can sit on the steps, look up at the trees and talk about wisdom. It’s time to remove the focus from anything specific, other than wisdom.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about wisdom:

Wisdom is the judicious study and application of knowledge. It is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgments and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one’s emotional reactions (the “passions”) so that universal principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one’s actions. Wisdom is also the comprehension of what is true coupled with optimum judgment as to action. Synonyms include: sagacity, discernment, or insight.

Here’s what Psychology Today says:

It can be difficult to define Wisdom, but people generally recognize it when they encounter it. Psychologists pretty much agree it involves an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as its ups and downs. There’s an awareness of how things play out over time, and it confers a sense of balance.

Wise people generally share an optimism that life’s problems can be solved and experience a certain amount of calm in facing difficult decisions. Intelligence—if only anyone could figure out exactly what it is—may be necessary for wisdom, but it definitely isn’t sufficient; an ability to see the big picture, a sense of proportion, and considerable introspection also contribute to its development.

Pick either one of those and I can accept it. That’s what’s going to start happening at Leaning Toward Wisdom. This is the pre-launch episode to just let you know what’s on my mind and how I’m planning to relaunch it soon. I’d appreciate any feedback you care to give me.


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