Some members have had private chats with me wanting to know two things in connection with the name of the club. One is to know why we chose the word Sophia, and two, to know why I sometimes react to, or affirm/declare something “by Sophia”, like in saying, “thank Sophia it’s Friday”, or in saying “Sophia!” when I find a comment to be wise or inspiring.
The Sophia Club could have been called The Wisdom Club because the meaning of Sophia is wisdom. There are words in African and Nigerian languages that mean wisdom and we could have used one of them. However, it is wise in itself that we take a name that does not give the organisation a tribal mien. If there were a general African language to take it from, that would have been good.
An apt definition of Sophia comes from the Merriam Webster dictionary that defines Sophia as “wisdom; specifically divine wisdom”. Take note of “divine wisdom”; this denotes an operation of wisdom that is beyond mundane wisdom and human cunning. No one can fully express divine wisdom whose mind is not open to learning on matters of life and existence and whose mind is not elevated above the common mind that seeks pleasure more than knowledge and understanding.
Sophia is the Greek word meaning wisdom. It is from this that the word Philosophia was coined, with its modern rendering, philosophy. Philosophia comes from the two root words, philo, meaning love, and sophia, meaning wisdom. Philosophia – love of wisdom. Philosophy.
Wikipedia succinctly puts philosophy as “the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language”. Today, philosophy has branched out into so many schools and has produced so many philosophers. It is interesting to note that philosophy is not the business of academic philosophers alone. You and the ordinary average person have a philosophy of life or, to put it simply, you philosophise, you consider through thought the various ways through which questions of life and existence can be answered and applied to your life.
Wisdom is not the same as knowledge. One can know many things and still go about being foolish. In the world today, the necessity of wisdom for any person to live a life of peace and mental wellbeing is as important as the necessity of water. The more people can keep their minds elevated above common things that cause a lot of people problems and sorrows, the more they stretch their minds into the Universal Mind to know and understand the things about life, the more they become wiser.
Wisdom helps us make smarter decisions. Wisdom provides us with learning from our every mistake so that we grow and even profit from them.
Wisdom informs you of the many factors that affect your beliefs, opinions, and actions. It helps you to understand your relationship with other people.
The absence of wisdom can produce foolish lifestyles and behaviours from people. The lack of wisdom can make people ignorantly follow ideas or opinions with no thought of the consequences of such. The lack of wisdom makes people turn their faces away from the realities of life into living a life of denial. The lack of wisdom blinds people from seeing the big picture of things and throws people into fits of anger and a life without compassion.
It is easy to notice a life that has wisdom in operation. Wise people exemplify the following qualities:
- They are humble; they do not boast or sing their own praises, neither do they go about with a prideful attitude.
- They are gentle and treat others with care and respect.
- They live an upright and moral life and shun evil practices. They are known for always doing good.
- Impartiality is the character of the wise. They never take sides; they are fair and just in their dealings. They show no partiality to others for their personal benefit.
- The wise are tolerant of others, especially those who are of different beliefs or ideologies. They look for the common thread within all systems and use it as a means to be at one with others.
- Wise people are considerate of the needs of others. Sometimes they make the sacrifice of placing others before them.
- The character of peace-lovingness belongs to the wise. They do not foster division and love to bring an end to conflict and disorder.
- The wise are always forgiving. Their understanding of life and human nature make them compassionate, kind, and merciful.
- Wise people are authentic and this brings out sincerity from them in how they relate with themselves privately and how they relate with others publicly. You can count on them for being honest, real, unhypocritical, and are never deceitful.
What these characteristics here can do for you is to help you answer the question of “Am I wise?” If you feel you are lacking in these attributes of the wise, it is time to take seriously the task of being wise, by consciously cultivating these traits and living them.
This is the reason why we take up the word Sophia in the naming of our club. The Sophia Club will be seen as an organisation of wise people. This should not only be heard from our mouths but also seen from the way we live our lives.
Constant learning and striving for knowledge and understanding in matters of life and existence should become like an occupation for you if you are to grow into more wisdom.
As a member of The Sophia Club, if you are yet to read The Way of Sophia booklet, download it here and freely share it with friends and family.