Wisdom Isn’t Knowledge


“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” ― Isaac Asimov

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” ― Confucious

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.” ― Oprah Winfrey


We have become accustomed to praising the significance of knowledge and the acquiring of information, yet we undermine the importance of wisdom. Wisdom is an essential quality for individuals seeking to live a life worth living and for those with the desire to end up at a favorable destination. Still, it is true that wisdom and knowledge are linked as wisdom can be enhanced by knowing and by learning to apply the information correctly.

It will remain necessary in the foregoing of our lives that we seek not to cloud out what we know and believe in our hearts to be rational, moral, and logical. Premonitions obtained from outside sources such as books, universities, and the internet may not always guide us in making good decisions, in applying good judgment to a scenario, or in dealing with life altogether. The ability to learn, to analyze, and to duly choose in the minutes, hours, and days of our existence will play a large factor in where and how we end up.

What are the factors of wisdom?

The ability to see what may not be on the map, to know, to recognize, and to consider what you are going into. Understanding how to listen to your intuition and act in line with a moral stance. Knowing the effect of a decision, understanding the consequences of certain actions, and acting in harmony with a levelheaded choice. Having and maintaining a perception of possibilities and probabilities involving a setting that will or may likely arise, are all factors that seem too often to be cultivated by the wise. These abilities may not be honed by merely flooding the mind with knowledge gained through facts and studies. The price of wisdom is enclosed in the elements of time, honesty, courage, reflection, thought, and effort.

Author Haddon W. Robinson in his foreword to Robert L. Alden’s book Proverbs: A Commentary on an Ancient Book of Timeless Advice stated, "Men and women educated to earn a living often don’t know anything about handling life itself. Alumni from noted universities have mastered information about a narrow slice of life but couldn’t make it out of the first grade when it comes to living successfully with family and friends. Let’s face it. Knowledge is not enough to meet life’s problems. We need wisdom, the ability to handle life with skill".

Robinson implies in the passage above that to live an honorable and commendable life one must possess more than mere knowledge and the image of what others may view as alluring. The man or woman who has a Ph.D. but has proven to make immoral and inarticulate life choices has displayed their lack of wisdom or their faults toward goodwill. The successful lawyer who is forced to file bankruptcy and who has been caught with corrupt ties has done the same.

I challenge the credibility of the divorced psychologist or therapist as it is this person who is going to serve others with answers meanwhile, they have failed or proved unable to figure out their own issues. If I am out to win, I would choose not to take golf lessons from the failing golfer. Hence, I would rather be counseled about life by someone who walks the line, who is moral, stable, able to work through real problems, and live free of delusion.

What good is it in the long run if we have arrived at a prominent position or made a successful career yet failed ourselves morally and spiritually? If we have done ourselves and those around us wrong in the one area that we are wholly responsible – our personal lives? If you cannot figure out who you are or if you have self – willfully hurt others, does it really matter how much money you make or how much power you have amassed? Look closely and be honest… Is your life a mess? Are you genuinely happy with yourself on the inside?

We reside in a world scattered with brilliance and stocked with adept individuals. In a lifetime, it would not prove unordinary for any one of us to encounter a number of persons who have acquired immense intelligence in certain topics and subjects, yet it remains alarming how still there is so many who make obviously wrong and spontaneous decisions without ever considering what may come of them. I am baffled by how and why one would not contemplate how these “choices” or decisions would honestly and truthfully affect them in the future.

Had these people only recognized the power behind discipline, patience, and persistence, would they then decide on another path? Would they care to know that when faith is adjoined with these three elements along with the right perspective, anything could be obtained or accomplished? Perhaps it merely comes down to a fault of will? It is very possible that these same individuals need more than anything to work on strengthening their willpower, disciplining themselves more acutely, and developing/altering their perspective on life.

What remains unfortunate is that we live in a weak time and that we have accepted weakness to be a norm within our culture. People want what they want and they want it now! They online date or takeout food because they need their fix immediately. They constantly take the easy way out regardless of if it is right or wrong and then they wonder why things do not turn out in their favor.

It is then that they act surprised when their ambitions turn into tragedy, when their health deteriorates, or when that attractive individual that they met online and invited over is a crazy person. In plain language, PEOPLE ARE LAZY! And it is hurting them! But what the “lazies” fail to realize or choose to ignore is that there is magic and wisdom that is captured in the effort!

Magic fad diets and dreams without action do not work! For a day or a few weeks, they may appear to be making progress but in the long run, they will crash and burn. There is a price to pay for those who decide to take the easy way out, for those who will not put in the work! The cost is not worth the temporary pains of discipline in action, of patience, and properly applied effort.

When one applies effort, their perspective changes, and they amass gratitude. The universe seems to open doors for those who are grateful, for those who know that they must seize the moment, and for those who persistently take the initiative. Through forthright strife and struggle, one is provided with lessons and morals. As they reflect they begin to understand what to do and what not to do. They embrace what is right and what is wrong. They learn about people.

The thought of a better self or the foresight of a prouder, more confident, and surer future begins to emerge because of honest effort. When the individual knows that they have honestly put in the work and they know that they have not cheated, they become more content with themselves. They are then able to make peace with their convictions and to act on them! They then know in their hearts that they are ready to face what they need to face, and they know that they have done all that they could do to be ready for what may come.

Suddenly the little things that one once looked past seem beautiful as glory and appreciation lie in honestly earning and working for something worthwhile. Anyone who has competed in a combat sport knows that you cannot grasp fully the technique and application of a sequence unless you get on the mat or in the ring and apply it. One also will not be able to tell what works and what doesn’t if they never display themselves in person or in live motion. We need to put the effort in and stop allowing ourselves to take shortcuts. We need to start facing the truth and facing ourselves because time doesn’t wait for anyone.

So where must one start as they seek to acquire wisdom? He or she can begin by answering these questions… Have you chosen to face the truth without bias or delusion, or do you lie to yourself regularly? Has your refusal to face reality brought you to an unfortunate location or has it hindered you from your potential? Are you choosing to be ignorant of the truth because you would rather not face something or because you have convinced yourself that there is only one way? Have you done all that you honestly could do to make the best of your situation?

The golden gift of wisdom is best acquired by truly and honestly LIVING! By seeking to find out what works and what doesn’t with the exclusion of delusion or bias. It can begin to be seized by experiencing life in person, by putting yourself out there, by really trying hard, and by using your brain to think!

When one seeks to get a true understanding of themselves and of others, they are better able to predict human tendencies, anticipate personal habits and expect certain actions. When one fails but chooses to get back up and move forward, they are compelled to think and to adjust. They are forced to either learn from what went wrong and to correct their mistakes or to lie to themselves and steer away from what will mold into the true valued asset of wisdom.

Wisdom is absorbed in ones being when they begin to start surrounding themselves with mature, truthful, and righteous people. Its essence is captured in scriptures and history books yet the gist of it cannot be amassed outside of the flesh. Wisdom sees conditions free from impulse and in that it spurs on decisions that may not seem appealing at first but will benefit the individual in the long run.