Lately I’ve been thinking about wisdom - the good sense in judgement that one gets from accumulated experience, especially from aging. I’m certainly not old, mind you, but I do hope I’m somewhat more astute than I was at an earlier age.
Just for fun, I searched the internet for books written about wisdom and was not surprised to find that a double standard applies to the sexes. To sum up, men who are wise learn from mistakes and work to improve their skills, their intellect and their lot in life. Women who are wise strive to be better mothers, better wives and even ‘goddesses.’
Almost everything mentioned about wisdom as it relates to women applies to engaging in some activity external to the inner-self. One book went went so far as to say, “a wise woman learns to love her body, even her feet.” This is pretty much the part where I started to choke on my almond fudge brownie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for self-empowerment, but I’m pretty sure a pedicure isn’t going to get me there.
Then I stumbled upon these statistics from the US Census Bureau:
- Women in the United States represent over half of the population
- American women have passed men in gaining advanced college degrees and bachelor's degrees
- One quarter of all women in the United States are victims of domestic violence
- Women make only 77 cents for every dollar that men earn for the same work
- Forty percent of women who head families live in poverty
- One in five women are without health care
- The largest segment of Americans living in poverty are elderly women
Obviously, many factors influence these outcomes. At minimum, the weight of the culture works against women and in some countries the statistics are dire.
If male wisdom is rooted in self-development and female wisdom is rooted in self-sacrifice, the results of the latter don’t seem all that promising to me. In fact, all of this reading makes me reflect on my own life and ask what I can do to put it on an even stronger trajectory.
That said, I’m curious about what wisdom you have to share. What have you done for yourself to strengthen who you are and where you’re going?
I also have another question for you. If you could go back in time and offer your younger self at least one piece of wisdom, what would it be? I’m eager hear and I’m sure others are too. After all, a wise person learns from the experience of others.
While you’re thinking about it, sit down and enjoy an almond fudge brownie with raspberry ice cream. It may not make you wise but the flavor combination will surely make you smile.
Almond Fudge Brownies
35 g (1/3 c) cocoa powder
80 ml (1/3 c) hot water
70 g (2/3 c) good quality milk chocolate, chopped
80 g (3/4 c) good quality dark chocolate, chopped
150 g unsalted butter (10 1/2 tbs) butter
260 g (1 and 2/3 c) brown sugar
125 g (1 c. plus 1.5 tbs) almond powder
4 eggs separated
1 pinch cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 355 degrees (180 Celsius). Throughly butter glass baking dish. I used a 7.5 X 9.5 x 3 inch square Pyrex dish.
Mix hot water and cocoa together until blended. Set aside.
Place butter and chopped chocolate in a bowl together and melt (just over a 1 minute in the microwave) and stir.
In a mixing bowl combine the cocoa and water mixture with the melted chocolate and butter mixture, the brown sugar, the flour and the egg yolks. Stir until blended with a sturdy wooden spoon.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. The egg whites should stand firm when the whisk is pulled away but remain shiny and flop over a bit at the top. (Note: Do not beat until dry. Also,increase mixer speed gradually while beating the whites.)
Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour into a buttered pan and bake until firm, about 45-55 minutes. Keep an eye on it though, as oven times do vary. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out mostly clean with a few crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack. Slice and let sit uncovered for 4 or 5 hours. The texture will firm up as they sit. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
Raspberry Ice Cream
3 egg yolks
205 g (1 c) sugar
120 g (1/2 c) water
1 pint of fresh red raspberries (the more you add, the stronger the flavor)
pinch of salt
1/2 g (1/8 tsp) xanthan gum (keeps the ice cream creamy when freezing)
16 g (1 tbs) lemon juice
475 ml (2 c) half and half
Puree raspberries and strain to remove seeds.
Place egg yolk in a food processor or blender and set aside. Combine the sugar and water and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Briefly bring the syrup to a boil. With the blender or food processor running on high speed, gradually pour the hot syrup mixture into the egg yolks. (use the feed tube or the opening in to blender cover). Process about 3 minutes until thick and pale yellow. Add to this mixture,the raspberry puree, salt, xanthan gum and lemon juice and blend. Blend in the heavy cream and chill. Process in ice cream machine and freeze.