Isn’t Wisdom and Knowledge the Same Thing?
There is a proverb that says “Wisdom calls out to everyone, but the foolish run away, and don’t listen.” I have thought about the difference between knowledge and wisdom a lot. How can people be extremely knowledgeable but incredibly unwise? For years I thought if you were just smart then you would be wise as well! Not so. In fact, it is very possible to have all the knowledge possible in our brains, yet never use it properly.
Wisdom calls out to everyone, what does that even mean? Well first I think we need to understand what wisdom and knowledge are, because they are two different things. Let’s say I have a pie (pumpkin, because pumpkin is the best), and I am really excited to enjoy my pie. However a friend of mine comes over and looks at my pie and says “Hey I love pumpkin pie as well!” Well here I am, looking at my ONE pie, and the TWO of us, something isn’t adding up. Two more people show up and they both would love some pie as well! I am now really concerned because there are 4 people and only ONE pie! What will I do!?!
Well as I am standing there I remember that in the first or second grade I learned about something called fractions. Fractions said that if I had one of something I could divide it into equal parts! Ok here comes the magic! Well not magic, but anyway… I should say here is the pivotal moment. So I have knowledge that can help me in this situation I have described, but I have a choice to apply this knowledge or not. If I see how this knowledge can be applied, and apply it, so that we each could have a piece of pie, then it has just become wisdom! If I choose to ignore what I have learned and keep the pie whole, I am ignoring the wisdom that is calling out to me, and am just plain foolish.
So knowledge is something I have learned, and wisdom is the ability to apply that knowledge to a situation. And that voice of wisdom calls out to EVERYONE! You don’t even need years of technical training to be able to apply wisdom, you just need to listen.
Wisdom is an amazing gift, however we can’t typically nail it 100% of the time. But have hope, a great tool in developing wisdom in our own lives is actually being able to learn from our mistakes. Mistakes happen, we are going to make them, that is unavoidable. The massive issue is that we typically try to cover and hide our mistakes. A) we don’t want people to think we are not knowledgeable, and B) we think we are wiser than we really are! Masking the fact that we make mistakes, and not owning that we make mistakes IS us being foolish. And in ignoring that ownership of our error, we are ignoring that voice of wisdom that calls out to everyone.
Let’s own our mistakes, learn from them, not be afraid for even looking a bit foolish. Wisdom wants to help us out of problems and circumstances, but we cannot hear it if we do not take ownership over the very things we do that are not that wise.