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I’ve been thinking about the difference between knowledge and wisdom.  For me the short definition is: Knowledge is what you know, and wisdom is how to use what you know.

Understanding the difference isn’t very difficult.  The question comes why is that those who have wisdom don’t share that with those who have knowledge but little wisdom?

Here is my list.  I’m interested in what yours might be.

  • Older people are the ones who generally have wisdom.  We devalue what our elders tell us.
  • People who have knowledge often have the misconception that they also have wisdom.  These people don’t seek out those who are wise.
  • People who are wise generally have egos that are at least under control.  Because they have low ego needs they often don’t seek the spotlight.
  • Those who are wise spend time thinking about big things in life.  They keep a low profile so they can do what they consider important work.
  • People who have wisdom often believe they aren’t those who are wise.  Those who really are wise don’t volunteer information they know.
  • Wise people aren’t flashy.  In today’s society those who are flashy and show off get attention.  Those who sit in the background and are quiet often don’t.  I find that quiet people often have very interesting things to say.

Wisdom comes from people who think deeply about issues.  They really want to understand the why in society and life.  They are interested in bigger questions that often don’t have answers but do have moral ramifications.

I’m sorry that the nuclear family has become the split family.  Children rarely get to talk with their grandparents.  As a result they lose the opportunity to learn from those who have lived long, learned much and have much to share.

Who are the people in your life you consider wise?  What have you learned from them?  How can you get them to share more with others?

Josh Patrick

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Topics: communication, Elders, family

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