Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Jason Merchey, a self-published author of the recently released book, Wisdom: A Very Valuable Virtue That Cannot Be Bought. He is also a philosophical thinker, master's level psychologist, a proponent of the research ideal, social critic, author, essayist, blogger, and a student of the tradition of arts and letters.
Hi Jason, Great to have you with us today! Please tell us about your book, Wisdom: A Very Valuable Virtue That Cannot Be Bought.
The book is a fascinating research-based yet personal take on that place where philosophy, psychology, well-being, personal growth, spirituality, politics, and American culture come together. It is 389 pages, boasts attractively designed softcover and cream-colored pages, and is quite unique. It communicates, “This is what wisdom is; here is how it is useful for me; within is inspiration for how it can be useful for you–and the United States as an ailing society.”
This is my fourth book that gets into wisdom, values, virtues, ethics, personal growth, etc. This one has a lot more of “me” in it, in that my prior books were mostly about quotations or featured essays from wise individuals. With this long, carefully written book, I get very deep and specific about all kinds of philosophical and psychological issues, principles, and so on. I have had mental illness all my life, earned a master's degree in psychology, and am now a real estate investor, so I have a lot I want to share!
What can the readers expect from your book?
My hope is that readers resonate with the personal stories I tell, appreciate the philosophical and psychological principles I delve into, and generally benefit from the book. By “benefit,” I mean: be more insightful, think more critically, be happier and more fulfilled, make better decisions, and perhaps be more successful.
Wisdom is not a simple topic, so it's not a “plug and play” kind of “how to manual,” but I am optimistic that an open-minded and eager reader will be able to learn a lot about the concept and be able to put wisdom to work in their lives.
I say that one has the capacity to make wisdom their greatest strength! To do so, we need to have a broad, deep look at large numbers of individuals throughout history (and from different cultures) who have lived wise, successful, impressive lives. What I call “a life of value.” There are thus well over 1,000 quotations from everyone from Gandhi to Martin Luther King, Jr. to Helen Keller. I also bring in many philosophers, thinkers, artists, freethinkers, and spiritual exemplars. Even one quote about wisdom can make a difference in a person's mindset, which is why I love quotes and have been thinking about these issues for almost twenty years!
I also strike a tone in the book of reflecting on America and the world during this time of unparalleled challenge, crisis, and anxiety. Philosophy is almost a joke when it comes to college majors, and this is most unfortunate since philosophy comes from the Greek for “the love of wisdom.” A society that does not act wisely in a time such as this will not be successful–and might not survive.
Fantastic! So tell us, how can people find out more about you?
Thank you so much, Jason, for giving us your precious time. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors.