Joe Sielski of “A Life With Wisdom”
Photo by Luigi Ciuffetelli
A new year signifies change in many people’s lives, whether they are looking to change eating habits, exercise more or be more positive. Whatever your goal, having a few inspirational words can help get you through those days when motivation is lacking. Enter Joe Sielski, 31, founder of Delaware Gays and Lesbians United and the blogger behind “A Life With Wisdom,” a guidebook that offers practical advice so you don’t have to go through life’s difficult times alone.
DT: How long have you been writing your blog “A Life With Wisdom?”
JS: I have been doing the blog for about two years now. It’s an addendum to a book I’ve been working on, which was a full research project that answers the question, “What is wisdom?” When I started the blog, I didn’t realize I was specifically starting this project. When I was younger, I used to keep a book filled with quotes, known as my quote journal. I had it on me at all times, and it was filled with inspirational quotes. They came from church, billboards, a quote mentioned and even ones I read. It grew into its own little entity and eventually I had over 300 quotes. In time I absorbed more information than I expected.
DT: You mentioned that you were working on a book?
JS: The book itself was birthed when I realized some of the quotes I accumulated in my quote book seemed redundant. I noticed some famous people had very similar philosophies about love and wisdom. I then took it upon myself to try to identify and define wisdom. However, in acknowledging that these individuals concluded similar truths separate from one another, it became evident that there was a greater truth outside from what any one individual could claim ownership. It became apparent that wisdom, happiness and love all exist to be shared. Upon learning this, I knew it was time to share it.
DT: Tell us about Delaware Gays and Lesbians United.
JS: It was around 2010 when I started it. I started it because there were so many organizations doing wonderful things [for the gay and lesbian community] but not getting recognized. I wanted to create my own umbrella organization, so I created a blog. I had a full online event calendar at the time and it was a tremendous undertaking. Since the passing of the same-sex marriage legislation, the need has declined. We still co-host a monthly happy hour event at local bars, with information posted on Facebook at Our Night Out Wilmington.
DT: What is your 9-to-5 job?
JS: I have been a server at Piccolina Toscana in Trolley Square for the past four years. I am also a student at the University of Delaware finishing up my bachelor’s degree in psychology.
DT: Many people may be wondering what you know about life that the average person does not.
JS: I knew this was coming. Since beginning this project to research philosophies of wisdom, I now know the many strata of wisdom and its respective information. Having ruminated and then written on them, the most important thing I can say is, the specialness of what I know is in knowing how to do it. Wisdom is knowledge in action. The substance of information is entirely moot if it’s not active. Therefore, I know how to be mindful of moments. I know how to pay attention for moments where knowledge is required. I know how to remain mindful amidst moments that once could derail me. Although it’s still unfair to compare myself to others, I feel like I’m more introspective than the average person. Therefore, I understand my uniqueness and the value of an honest life. Through research, I’ve earned my knowledge and I live as a reflection of this knowledge.
DT: What advice helps you through personal struggles?
JS: I always start with my identity, which leads me to the circumstance that I am in. It can then get spiritual, and then I come back to who I am. Regardless of what the struggle is, I need to remind myself that people love me.
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DT: What inspires you?
JS: Such small things inspire me. I learn to be in awe of so much. It is important to have some simple moments with yourself, like looking at the clouds. I like to read other people’s inspiration books. People always inspire me. Despite the drama, there are still a lot of amazing things. My mother inspires me. She is the origin of love for my family.
DT: You were born and raised in Hockessin. Why have you never left Delaware?
JS: This is my home and where I do things. My belief is you grow where you are planted. So many people tell me I’m perfect for New York, Paris or San Francisco, but sometimes I think that’s the easy way out. I’m doing what I’m doing right here. I’m changing the rules here.