Knowledge vs. Wisdom



At the end of Siddhartha, we have a great discourse that is given on knowledge and wisdom.It is fully believed by Siddhartha (and I agree with him) that you cannot give wisdom to someone.I fully believe and agree that knowledge can be taught and given to people, but the application of that knowledge is where the wisdom sets in.The dictionary says knowledge is familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning.However, wisdom is the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.From those definitions it is easy to see that wisdom is the application of what you may have knowledge about.
I once heard a story of a scientist who was doing a great deal of research of a particular plague or disease that affected the water in a town.During the course of his study, he learned the sources of the disease and knew, or had knowledge that drinking the water of this particular area would cause a deadly disease in the body.However, by a chance, the scientist accidentally drank a glass of the very infected water that he had been studying – not a very wise choice!Had true wisdom been present there is no way the scientist would have put himself in a situation that he would have drunk from a glass of infected water.
Wisdom comes by the application of any principle that we may learn in this life.Whether that is knowledge of nutrition or sports or English, the real wisdom comes as we live to be our best self.Another good judgment to make on one’s personal wisdom level is to test your level of integrity and character – the things that you do when no one’s looking.If you are an honest person at all times, even by yourself, you have true wisdom.If not, then like most other people, you have an area that could be improved.It’s all about self-reflection for me.
- Ron Garner -