What doth better become wisdom than to discern what is worthy the living.

What did Philip Sidney mean by:

What doth better become wisdom than to discern what is worthy the living.


This quote speaks to the fundamental essence of wisdom, suggesting that the true mark of wisdom is the ability to discern or distinguish what makes life truly worth living. In other words, being wise isn’t just about accumulating knowledge or experience, but about understanding what truly matters in life, what gives life meaning and purpose.

This quote suggests that wisdom involves a sense of perspective, of being able to sift through the many distractions and demands of life to focus on what is truly important. It’s about recognizing the value in experiences, relationships, and pursuits that enrich our lives and give them depth and significance.

In the context of today’s world, this quote is particularly relevant. We live in a society that is often focused on the superficial, on material wealth and status. But this quote reminds us that true wisdom lies in recognizing the inherent worth of things that cannot be quantified or measured – love, joy, fulfillment, purpose.

In terms of personal development, this quote suggests that we should strive to cultivate this discernment, to develop a sense of what truly matters to us. This might involve introspection and self-reflection, or it might involve seeking out new experiences and perspectives to broaden our understanding of the world and our place in it.

Ultimately, this quote reminds us that wisdom is not just about knowledge or intelligence, but about understanding, perspective, and discernment. It’s about recognizing the true value of life and living it to the fullest.

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