Our Own Druidry definition: "Good judgment, the ability to perceive people and situations correctly, deliberate about and decide on the correct response."
Merriam-Webster adds: “Accumulated philosophical or scientific learning”
Personal definition: "The cultivation through study and experience and subsequent application of good judgment, skills to perceive people and situations properly, and ability to assess options and select an appropriate response."
I like the ADF-provided definition of wisdom, and with some minor changes, it fits my personal definition well. Although the virtue of wisdom is by no means the mere sum of accumulated facts, I do believe that the conscious seeking and processing of information is an important facet of wisdom. A great deal of the practice of wisdom is the readiness to receive knowledge and the ability to listen. Recognizing opportunities to learn and listening to our teachers, whether they be secular or spiritual, internal or external, kith or kin, is part of how we exercise and strengthen our wisdom. Of course, this does not mean we must listen without question or exception. However, a constant willingness to engage with new information, narratives, and perspectives seems key to cultivating good judgment.
In addition to adding an element of active cultivation to my definition of wisdom, I have eliminated all forms of the term “correct,” opting for “properly” and “appropriate” instead. This may be a cosmetic change to many people, but I felt that it was an important one. “Correct” implied to me that wisdom should seek a single right answer, a single best perception or best response. On the other hand, there may be multiple “proper” or “appropriate” perceptions and choices, and I think that these should be the goal of wisdom.
As polytheists, I believe that it is critical for us to recognize the potential multiplicity of truths. I believe that the true virtue of wisdom does not fall into the trap of assuming that it knows everything there is to know, or of eschewing all that does not fit cleanly into its own understanding. Wisdom does not mean attaining the pinnacle of all truth, and I do not want to risk equating the virtue of wisdom with “having the correct answer.” Put simply, wisdom is not exclusive, and I wanted my definition to help me remember that in my practice.