WISDOM ACCELERATION


By wisdom a house is built
By wisdom a house is built

How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! Proverbs 16:16 (NIV)

I think what fascinates me about wisdom is that it is non-discriminatory. You can have a Phd and lack wisdom, but you can be illiterate and be wise. The pauper can obtain it, but the wealthy can’t buy it. And the strong can’t take it from the one who is weak. It would seem wisdom can be obtained by all. The only advantage in obtaining wisdom is time. The longer one lives the more opportunities to amass it, but age is only an advantage, it’s not a guarantee.

So how do we get it?

It seems that humility is one accelerant to obtaining wisdom.

Proverbs 18:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” What could be more humbling than recognizing the character and nature of God and our position to Him? The wisest of people I have encountered do not have even a smidge of arrogance or haughtiness in their person. Jesus, who had every right to power, became nothing, serving his own creation to the point of death. Humility has probably been the most difficult of postures to acquire and greatest of personal struggles I’ve faced throughout life. Every time their is pride, wisdom is absent
– Wisdom Hacker

Playground made from trash gets children back in the swing


 

Ugandan eco-artist Ruganzu Bruno built an amusement park for children living in one of Kampala's slums. Ugandan eco-artist Ruganzu Bruno built an amusement park for children living in one of Kampala’s slums.
Bruno (right) worked with the local community to create the playground in a congested area lacking recreation facilities. "We built the playground together as a team," he says. Bruno (right) worked with the local community to create the playground in a congested area lacking recreation facilities. “We built the playground together as a team,” he says.
Using thousands of waste bottles, the talented artist turned a school yard in Kampala's Kireka community into a fun and safe place where children can play and learn. Using thousands of waste bottles, the talented artist turned a school yard in Kampala’s Kireka community into a fun and safe place where children can play and learn.
For his work over the years, the talented artist has won several accolades, including the Ugandan Young Achievers award 2011. For his work over the years, the talented artist has won several accolades, including the Ugandan Young Achievers award 2011.
Bruno says the park has had a positive impact on local children. "The attention of children in class has improved; the number of children who are dropping out [is falling] because now they have something to keep them busy there, " he says. Bruno says the park has had a positive impact on local children. “The attention of children in class has improved; the number of children who are dropping out [is falling] because now they have something to keep them busy there, ” he says.
Other attractions include swings and climbing structures created with recycled materials such as old tires. Other attractions include swings and climbing structures created with recycled materials such as old tires.
Bruno plans to roll out several other eco amusement parks in other parts of Kampala. Bruno plans to roll out several other eco amusement parks in other parts of Kampala.
A huge board game built inside the school yard in Acholi Quarters, Kireka. A huge board game built inside the school yard in Acholi Quarters, Kireka.
In 2010 Bruno founded Eco Art Uganda, a collective of artists promoting environmental awareness. In 2010 Bruno founded Eco Art Uganda, a collective of artists promoting environmental awareness.
He has also developed an eco-artist loan scheme to help the business endeavors of women in Kireka. He has also developed an eco-artist loan scheme to help the business 

(CNN) — No sooner had Ruganzu Bruno and his troupe of fellow eco-artists arrived at Kampala’s Kawempe area than their presence stirred up questions within the local community.

“What are you doing?” the startled residents asked. “Why are you using all this plastic?” they continued, baffled by the piles of waste bottles that were gradually filling a dusty compound yard in the northwestern suburb of the Ugandan capital.

What the group of artists was doing was creating “The Hand That Speaks,” an enormous structure made of recycled materials to raise awareness about environmental degradation.

“We were trying to bring out the message that the hand is the one which is throwing this trash into the environment and at the same time it could be used to collect [them] and save the environment,” says Bruno.

“The Hand That Speaks.”
ECO ART/RUGANZU BRUNO

And once the nine artists started assembling their futuristic creation, using more than 20,000 bottles collected in the slums of Kampala, the local crowds also decided to lend a helping hand.

“At first, the community were confused but then they really loved it,” says Bruno. “They were always getting us bottles.”

Eco Art

That was about four years ago, when Bruno was still a student at the Kyambogo University fine art school. During that time, the talented painter and sculptor discovered that he wasn’t interested in just crafting artworks that would only satisfy his creative needs.

I kind of felt a change within myself to think about others. Ruganzu Bruno, artist

Instead, he wanted his art to have a positive impact on his community.

“When we are trying to achieve things in life we are self-centered, and as artists we tend to make work for ourselves,” explains Bruno, 30.

“I kind of felt a change within myself to think about others,” he adds. “From then on I could not only paint — I decided to work on work that was beneficial to my community.”

One of Ruganzu Bruno’s paintings.
ECO ART/RUGANZU BRUNO

Driven by a desire to influence his surroundings, Bruno then became involved in eco-art projects, devising innovative ways to deal with Kampala’s acute waste management problem.

In 2010 he founded Eco Art Uganda, a collective of artists promoting environmental awareness by transforming anything from discarded bottles and cast-aside metal to broken TVs and computers into contemporary and functional pieces of art.

Read this: Specs ‘give trash a second chance’

“I was looking for materials that were not expensive and easily available,” says the soft-spoken artist, who hails from southwest Uganda.

“I really found that this trash and rubbish could actually become a really positive way of communicating to people,” adds Bruno, who’s won several accolades for his work, including the Ugandan Young Achievers award 2011.

Ruganzu Bruno at the TEDx summit in Doha.
ECO ART/RUGANZU BRUNO

Amusement park

In April last year, Bruno also won the $10,000 City 2.0 Award at the TEDx summit in Doha, Qatar, for his idea to create an amusement playground for children living in Kampala’s congested slums.

I think a man will always be remembered by his work. Ruganzu Bruno, artist

Using an array of recycled materials, Bruno went on to transform a school yard in Kampala’s Kireka community into a fun and safe place where children can play and learn.

The eco-park, which was completed last September, is dotted with whimsical structures attracting dozens of children each day — from a colorful helicopter and life-size board games made of bottles to recycled swings and climbing frames crafted from old tires.

Bruno says the entire community, which lacked a recreation facility, embraced the project wholeheartedly.

Read this: Boy’s flashy invention scares off lions

“I talked to the head of the school, and together with the parents and the students, they are the ones who collected the bottles,” says Bruno, who is also a lecturer in the department of Art & Design at Kyambogo University.

“So we built the playground together as a team and they know how to repair it — this is very important in terms of sustainability.”

The opening of the playground in Kireka.
ECO ART/RUGANZU BRUNO

But more importantly, Bruno, who was orphaned at a young age, says the project has had a positive impact on the children.

“The attention of children in class has improved; the number of children who are dropping out [is falling] because now they have something to keep them busy there, ” he adds. “There is a really good progress and it has also helped them to express themselves in class.”

Legacy

Bruno says his goal is to recreate “as many as 100” similar amusement parks in other parts of Uganda.

He is also using the prize money to grow an eco-artist loan scheme he’s developed, aimed at supporting the business endeavors of creative women in Kireka.

It’s all part of his continuous efforts to be an artist whose work will serve his community’s needs.

“I think a man will always be remembered by his work, “says Bruno. “I’m an advocate now of the environment; I’m an advocate for play for children; I’m an artist …who wants his work to have an effect on the people.”.

FEAR THIS


 How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! Proverbs 16:16 (NIV)

I think what fascinates me about wisdom is that it is non-discriminatory. You can have a Phd and lack wisdom, but you can be illiterate and be wise. The pauper can obtain it, but the wealthy can’t buy it. And the strong can’t take it from the one who is weak. It would seem wisdom can be obtained by all. The only advantage in obtaining wisdom is time. The longer one lives the more opportunities to amass it, but age is only an advantage, it’s not a guarantee.

So how do we get it?

It seems that humility is one accelerant to obtaining wisdom.

Proverbs 18:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”  What could be more humbling than recognizing the character and nature of God and our position to Him? The wisest of people I have encountered do not have even a smidge of arrogance or haughtiness in their person.  Jesus, who had every right to power, became nothing, serving his own creation to the point of death. Humility has probably been the most difficult of postures to acquire and greatest of personal struggles I’ve faced throughout life. Every time their is pride, wisdom is absent. Two practices have been significant in my life as I’ve sought to replace self centered arrogance with humility that leads to wisdom.

1. Silence

“Even a fool is thought wise if he remains silent” Larry King, maybe one of the best interviewers in the country has said, “I never learned anything while I was talking.”

In my line of work as an author, communicator, counselor, and consultant I’m paid to “speak up”. But I never realized how much this “lack of silence” had become an occupational hazard in my quest for wisdom. I love to talk! I love to give my opinion. I even get paid for it! But as Larry said…

2. Solitude

Henri Nouwen speaks to the relationship of solitude and humility in The Way of the Heart:

“In solitude I get rid of my scaffolding: no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain, no books to distract, just me – naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, depraved, broken – nothing. It is this nothingness that I have to face in my solitude, a nothingness so dreadful that everything in me wants to run to my friends, my work, and my distractions so that I can forget my nothingness and make myself believe that I am worth something. …That is the struggle. It is the struggle to die to the false self.”

I don’t know that I’ve ever felt that way being alone. I love solitude. People don’t believe this about me, but I am introvert. I enjoy being around people, I just get exhausted in the process. I’m a “people oriented introvert”. It takes me days to recover from our National Youth Worker Conventions. So solitude has never been hard for me to experience, but maximizing that alone time so it produces results has been. So I’m alone? What is the result?

I believe there is a difference between being alone and practicing solitude with intention. When I practice solitude I try to examine my life, replay past experiences and conversations and look for patterns that work, and patterns that are destructive. Standing naked in front of a mirror for a long period of time can be humbling too. Try it sometime.

But probably the most productive time in solitude is spent “in the fear of the Lord”. Measuring my heart, my motivations, my character up against the standard of His glory. Sometimes the humility lasts only for that moment, until the phone rings, and sometimes it sticks, and alters the course of life.

Mark Matlock