Professor, this was an absolute joy to read for me. Many in our community here in the Bay Area have tried to find a channel where we can all share these kinds of stories with one another - through podcasts, group meet ups, set time at schedule events, and blogging. I believe that "willingness" is the main driver of wisdom - in that we must be willing to accept our ignorance and our absent mindedness in our daily routines both for personal growth and to spark the chain of events that lead to wiser lifestyles. While wisdom itself is a relative term, open to interpretation of both its definition and applicability, the acknowledgment of "striving" for a higher sense of the understanding of self can be best initiated when a sense of a "purpose" driven lifestyle is adopted - thus the relevancy of Socrates in your opening in providing the opportunity for people to think as a starting point. Our daily distractions, financial and professional commitments add layers of hinderance to our quest for wisdom and in my humble student conclusion, it is the environment itself in which we nurture ourselves that can more fluidly put us in the "state" of readiness you indirectly allude to.
Prajnanam iti Brahman - wisdom is the soul/spirit. Prajnanam refers to the intuitive truth which can be verified/tested by reason. It is a higher function of the intellect that ascertains the Sat or Truth in the Sat-Chit-Ananda or truth-consciousness-bliss, . the Brahman/Atman/Self /person [...] A truly wise person [...] is known as Prajna - who has attained Brahman hood itself; thus, testifying to the Vedic Maha Vakya (great saying or words of wisdom): Prajnanam iti Brahman .