Commissioner Rothschild's simple redefinition of wisdom fits his simplistic notions and narrow worldview perspective. According to Rothschild, anyone without a Judeo-Christian background in values seemingly cannot be wise (Gandhi and the Dali Lama do make Rothschild's list of the wise); nor can a person without an education be considered wise (Bill Gates, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs dropped out of school). All people have life experience, although we know that all people are not considered wise. Apparently, humility is part of Rothschild's intersection of wisdom, although I have never seen humility as a part of Rothchild's character.
Rothschild redefines "wisdom" to meet his own needs, then relays three anecdotes to the readers to try and justify his authority with regard to dispensing "lessons about life." His three "moments of wisdom" are based on past business transactions regarding monetary gain for himself. His lessons learned include one, to say no (which he knows well since every year he says no to fully funding the public school system); two, understanding the impact of one's decisions; and finally, three, to align one's self with people of integrity. It must be due to Rothschild's humility that he offers his last two points since he does not seem to understand the impact of his decisions, nor seem to partner with people of integrity.
Living abroad, in an area where poverty is the norm, education is a luxury, humility is in abundance, and the dominant religion is not based on Judeo-Christian values, my experiences led me to believe that wisdom is not a simple intersection of Rothschild's personal beliefs. Moments that have an ever-lasting impact usually do not revolve around business transactions. My own such moments involve my wedding day, the birth of my children, and the death of my grandparents. Due to those moments, I now understand commitment, unconditional love, and acceptance. I have met many wise people that have no formal education, are not Christian, some with humility, and others without. My own experiences have led me to believe that wisdom comes not only from an intellectual capacity, but more from the heart involving love, care, understanding, respect for others and for the self. These attributions allow one to find wisdom through contentment, satisfaction and pride. Rothschild hopes to share more "wisdom moments" with the CCT readers — let's hope that he finds the true intersection of wisdom before that time.
Steven C. Shoup