Photograph by Alex Harvey
A lady thinking about the wisdom she has acquired over a lifetime? (hopefully that is what she is thinking about?)
Wisdom is not the product of only schooling, or just gaining knowledge, but of the lifelong "attempt to acquire" it. It isn't just a long life, or being old, that gives you wisdom. The sincere attempt to acquire it pushes you to find more than just knowledge.
If we have knowledge, then how do we get wisdom? Experience and understanding seems like the most logical answers, but what kind of experience is needed and what should you be trying to learn from it?
Does understanding, by its very nature, require experience and knowledge? What about feelings? Does “how you feel about the experiences” make a difference? Are consequences part of what is needed to gain wisdom? Is just understanding, rather than experiencing potential consequences, enough? (I hope so!)
A well-known quote, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”, seems to imply that sincerity added to knowledge is of value.
Passion and “sincerity of caring” is needed, in two ways. Someone must truly believe that the knowledge desired is of value. Then they need to believe that it applies to the situation.
Knowledge is just information that someone has learned and is aware of. Wisdom is something else. Applying the knowledge to make correct judgments and decisions is wisdom and it becomes easier if we also have experiences where we already know it has worked.
Experience seems to be infallible? It is a wonderful resource. When you know, something works it is easy to just rely on that.
What if knowledge suggests that something else will work, or even that what worked through experience shouldn’t have? It takes some deeper analysis of things to bring the conflicts of experience into line with knowledge gained other ways. Perhaps it takes that type of struggle for the results to reflect genuine passion and sincerity.
When we look at our life experiences we will find they now will seem different than when they happened. The changes that we see change us. We see different connections for the event. We reinvent ourselves and our self-image changes.
Have you ever read a book that changed your life? Of course, you have. It really does happen. You take the character, and events in the story, and you digest it and it can change you into a different person.
Finding the right catalysts for change can enhance our ability to grow and improve. What we need to do is find wisdom that applies not only to our knowledge but to our experiences.
The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about wisdom and knowledge. It suggests that they both come from God. This quote seems to sum it up very well.
Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting, get understanding.