Besonnenheit

Prudence, the opposite of scatterbrained, having the details and disparate items of a situation understood and ordered.

German Wikipedia defines this so nicely: “the well-thought-out, self-possessed calmness that enables reason to retain the upper hand even in difficult or dodgy situations, to avoid over-hasty and unconsidered decisions or deeds. While Besonnenheit makes reference to the rational aspect, calmness emphasizes the emotional aspects of inner quietness.” This goes beyond the prudence imparted to me in the 1990’s, when it appeared the word was mostly used to tell others not to take action and/or to hide the fact that the teller lacked information that would have enabled better advice.

(Bə ZONN en height.)

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