“To know wisdom and instruction, to discern the sayings of understanding, to receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice, and equity” (Proverbs 1:2-3).
These words seem quaint and impractical and archaic: wisdom, instruction, discern, sayings of understanding, wise behavior, righteousness, justice, equity. Strung together they present a view of life in opposition to our pragmatic approach to learning and our utilitarian perspective of life. Yet their author was passing on a heritage to his son, just as his father had passed a heritage on to him.
We think in terms of “compartmentalization” while the authors of Proverbs see life holistically – as an integrated whole. We educate so that people will have jobs, the authors of Proverbs educate so that others will have character. We train for the short-term, to acquire skills to achieve goals of position, money, power, and possessions; Proverbs educates for the long-term so that we may cultivate a life.