My quest to become a wizard began when I was but a kid reading comic books. It got a boost when I became a middle school English teacher and realized the fundamental truth of the universe, human beings know practically nothing at all… about anything. The only path to wisdom is the way of the fool.
So, I embraced it. It made it so much easier to teach and manage a classroom full of teenybumpers to realize the only thing that works when they laugh at you and make fun of you, is to be able to laugh at yourself and make fun of them right back.
I learned along the way that things that hurt you and make you suffer cause wisdom to happen. You walk under a ladder and the painter accidentally drops a paint bucket on your head, and you realize that walking under a ladder is a bad thing to do in the future… not simply because of superstition either.
Drawing and painting wizards is something I began to do too. I find it fascinating to try to draw a wrinkly old face and attempt to put some kind of intelligence in the eyes. I can get vapid and stupid really really well. I think I know what that looks like in the eyes of another far better than I know what wisdom looks like. And how do you know it is wisdom, anyway, and not merely constipation? Can you see understanding and intelligence in the eyes of another? I think you can. But looking into the eyes of young learners for so many years and searching for those things, I realized that the best you can do is guess. You could easily be wrong.
That is what wisdom is. Make your best guess, but remember that you are probably wrong. It is possible to do great and powerful magic in the world if you are a wizard and you have wisdom. But it will not be easy. And you must work hard. And when you have to decide whether to speak or stay silent, the wise man is always silent first, giving himself time to think before he speaks.
“Are you a wise man, Mickey?” you ask.
“…” Mickey says.