7 Pillars of Social Wisdom

by Jay Deragon on 12/01/2010

When we use the word pillar we refer to people and things  which stand out in appearance, character, or office. I am sure you’ve heard the expression “he/she is a pillar of our community”.  People who are referred to as “pillars” of  a community are those whose character reflects wisdom.

Wisdom consists of making the best use of knowledge.  The opposite of wisdom is folly.  Yet even people who possess lots of intellectual knowledge fail to apply said knowledge effectively. The reason is they lack the wisdom required to use knowledge effectively. Thus even the smartest people sometimes appear foolish because of the lack of wisdom.

People refer to wisdom as gaining experience and there are a variety of other avenues to gaining wisdom. For example, Freethinkers and others believe that wisdom may come from pure reason and perhaps experience, while others believe that it comes from intuition or spirituality.

Social technology is accelerating human interaction and you can spot wisdom  by the content created and distributed by “the crowds of wisdom“. These crowds share ideas and knowledge and each builds on the interactions of another. The context of the content reflects  the “crowds of wisdom” by seven distinct pillars of thought which are:

  • Seeing the Whole: The ability to understand how social technology changes all “systems” regardless of industry and all related knowledge domains that were created from past systems.
  • Understanding: With the pillar of understanding, we comprehend how we can collectively create innovation to solve existing problems which constraint the productivity of the human network. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to do things . The gift of understanding perfects a person’s speculative reason in the apprehension of discovering new knowledge. 
  • Counsel : The pillars  of counsel/right judgment know the difference between fads, trends and innovation. A person with right judgment avoids folly which steals producitivty. The crowds of wisdom enable others to see the whole and understand the relevant implications of change.
  • Fortitude : The pillars of fortitude/courage overcome fear and are willing to take risks as innovators who understand how the “system” is changing everything.. A person with courage is willing to stand up for their beliefs, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even criticism from other crowds of influence . The pillars of courage encourage people with the firmness of mind that is required both in standing against the constraints and rejection of those wanting to hold onto old knowledge domains for selfish reasons.
  • Knowledge: With the pillars of knowledge we gain an understand the meaning of change. The “pillars” of knowledge are those that understand more than an accumulation of facts or information. Pillars of knowledge seek to gain more knowledge from others and collaborate together to increase knowledge for everyone’s use.
  • Piety : The pillar of reverence, sometimes called piety, provide deep sense of respect for the human network and the dynamics of the intersection of technology with the network. A pillar of reverence recognizes their total reliance on the human network with humility, trust, and respect. Pillars of reverence don’t seek “klout” individually rather they seek change that improves productivity collectively.
  • Ideation: Pillars of “ideas” share thoughts and possibilities freely knowing that the human network can validate and expand ideas into greater meaning and outcomes faster than ever before.  Pillars of ideas know that great ideas come from crowds of wisdom. Said crowds understand how to use knowledge to gain wisdom with and from others. Wisdom is the foundation of any great idea that is sustainable because of the value produced by the idea.

Seth Godin writes: Where do ideas come from?

  1. Ideas don’t come from watching television
  2. Ideas sometimes come from listening to a lecture
  3. Ideas often come while reading a book
  4. Good ideas come from bad ideas, but only if there are enough of them
  5. Ideas hate conference rooms, particularly conference rooms where there is a history of criticism, personal attacks or boredom
  6. Ideas occur when dissimilar universes collide
  7. Ideas often strive to meet expectations. If people expect them to appear, they do
  8. Ideas fear experts, but they adore beginner’s mind. A little awareness is a good thing
  9. Ideas come in spurts, until you get frightened. Willie Nelson wrote three of his biggest hits in one week
  10. Ideas come from trouble……see more of Seth’s thoughts here

Because of social technology ideation is accelerating faster than ever before. Those who understand the 7 Pillars of Social Wisdom have the knowledge to turn ideas into actions that change everything and influence everyone. Why? watch the video below. Who are those that represent the 7 Pillars of Social Wisdom? You decide but use wisdom in your decision who to follow.

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