This from Rachel Remen:
“Learning from life takes time. I rarely recognize life’s wisdom at the time it is given. Sometimes I am too distracted by something else that has caught my wandering eye, and not every gift of wisdom comes nicely gift-wrapped. I have often received such a gift only many years after it was offered. Sometimes I needed to receive other things first, to live through other experiences in order to be ready.”
This identifies two hurdles to wisdom. First, wisdom doesn’t always come packaged with a big “WISDOM” label in bold red letters on it. Sometimes wisdom may arrive in a passing observation, or it may even arrive looking a whole lot like a problem. I just may not recognize wisdom for what it is. Second, I may need to collect a few more additional bits of information for it to all fall together and make sense. That is, I may just not have all the pieces for the puzzle.
In all this I am reminded of this from Justice Felix Frankfurter: “Wisdom too often never somes, so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes too late.”