Deciding in Wisdom

Published 19 Jun 2017

Making decisions is one act that may be considered as very critical. It is an act that is unique to man alone, as they are the only rational beings (Bell et al, 19880). Whether it is to be done for a simple aspect of life or to create change and improvement in one’s life, decisions are to be made with consideration of everything involved and through the different components of wise judgment.

There are five known components of wise judgment which reflects wisdom in a person or an individual who is making the decision. First is the rich factual knowledge which refers to general and specific knowledge about life conditions and its variations. Second is rich procedural knowledge or the general and specific knowledge about strategies of judgment and advice on life matters. Third is life-span contextualism or the knowledge about contexts of life and their developmental relationship. Fourth is relativism, which refers to the knowledge about variations in values, goals, and priorities. And the fifth is uncertainty or the knowledge about the relative indeterminacy and unpredictability of life and means to manage it. All these five components are known to be of great use by those who are excellent in making decisions and those whoa re always caught in huge and life-changing glitches like business tycoons, investors, and court judges. However, this does not mean that these components are of no use to ordinary people or individuals. Even in everyday situations, people should be able to give the best decision so that by the end of the day there will be no regrets (Sternberg, 2000).

One situation which may be considered very typical and happens a lot to common individuals is being caught between the desire of the heart and the rationalization of the mind. An example is a teenage girl who is in love with her seventeen-year old boyfriend, who is encouraging her to have sex with him. He claims that he will make sure that they will be doing it with protection so that there would not be any possibility for conception.

In this situation, the girl is caught between the desire to show her affection to her boyfriend and the fact that she knows it is not right to do it yet as she is still young. From this it may be found that there are two important factors. First is her emotions and the second one is her rational mind. Her emotions may be dictating to heed to the desires of her lover while her mind is telling her that it is not right. As the situation is life-changing the decision-making for this situation is difficult.

Despite this it may be found that the better decision is not to heed to what the lover or the boyfriend is asking. First of all this is due to the fact that her rational mind dictates this as the correct decision. As a rational being, people must heed to the dictates of their mind and not the dictates of the heart. A second reason is that if based on the five components of judgement, this will ultimately be the right choice. And a third reason is that people should acknowledge that even though emotions are considered as man’s downfall, there is such a thing as emotional intelligence, which refers to recognition and management of one’s emotions (Larina, 2008).

Breakdown of the Decision

In applying the five components of wise judgment the concepts shall be applied in accordance to the situation. It begins with the rich factual knowledge or the knowledge about life’s conditions and its variations. In the situation this is the knowledge of the girl that in engaging in pre-marital sex, she is risking the chances of living a rather difficult life. There is the fact that teenage pregnancies may destroy a young girl’s bright future and in a situation where money is not easily obtained, a child unprepared for is very much impractical. Thus, declining to the boyfriend’s urging becomes righteous.

The second component is the rich procedural knowledge or strategies of judgment and advice concerning matters of life. In the situation, the girl knows that the common advice given to girls when caught in a situation such as hers is that she should say no and must at all cost, do this with conviction. In recognizing this, saying no becomes the best and only choice.

The third component is life span contextualism. In this, the girl should consider that she is just a teenager and almost still at the beginning of life. Any drastic decision that may force into becoming an adult all of a sudden may not be healthy for her. This will affect future occurrences more in negative manner than what may be expected. As such, sex which may accidentally end up with pregnancy is not advisable and saying o to a lover who urges one into it, may be the best decision.

The fourth component is the relativism or the knowledge about differences in values, goals, and priorities. In the given situation, if a girl decides to say no to her lover, it is probable that she shall be commended for knowing her priorities and goals. As a teenager, it is not losing one’s virginity which is important. What is more crucial is to know which things one is prepared for, and which things should be made to wait for the perfect time. As such, in the given case, making sex with the lover wait is a better choice.

The fifth component is uncertainty or the knowledge of the unpredictability of life. In this the girl should think of the countless possibilities if she says yes to her boyfriend and if she says no. however, it should be noted that if she says no, everything points to better consequences. The only negative perhaps is that the guy may leave her, but this is out of the question as this will prove that he does not love her enough. As such, declining the urge of her boyfriend is determinedly the better option. In addition, when saying yes would cause greater harm, one should learn how to say no.

Putting the situation and the decision-making in context with the five components of wise judgment, it may be derived that to say no to the boyfriend is the better choice. It will result to more positive possibilities, and lessen undesirable effects. More importantly, it will prove one’s wisdom, which not all individual’s possess.


  • Bell, D., Raiffa, H., Tversky, A. (1988). Decision Making: Descriptive, Normative, And Prescriptive Interactions. New York: Cambridge University Press
  • Larina. (2008). “The Four Components of Emotional Intelligence”. The Mindset of Success.
  • Sternberg, R.J. (2000). Practical Intelligence in Everyday Life. New York: Cambridge University Press
Did it help you?