Wisdom


Wisdom

What is Wisdom?

Wisdom: the ability or result of an ability to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight, accumulated knowledge, erudition, or enlightenment.

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Wisdom can be gathered. Wisdom can be learned, or gained. Wisdom cannot be taught.

What is the difference between Wisdom and Knowledge?

Wisdom and knowledge, both recurring themes in the Bible, are related but not synonymous. The dictionary defines wisdom as “the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting.” Knowledge, on the other hand, is “information gained through experience, reasoning, or acquaintance.” Knowledge can exist without wisdom, but not the other way around. One can be knowledgeable without being wise. Knowledge is knowing how to use a gun; wisdom is knowing when to use it and when to keep it holstered.

Wisdom is a multi-faceted synthesis of many human qualities. For millennia, students of wisdom and writers about it have associated wisdom with a number of positive human character strengths and virtues.

Students of wisdom and writers about it have associated wisdom with a number of positive human character strengths and virtues.

Wisdom is a multi-faceted synthesis of many human qualities. For millennia, students of wisdom and writers about it have associated wisdom with a number of positive human character strengths and virtues.

Although sagacity has not been discussed much during the past fifty years, most of us do have some rough, fuzzy sense of what the word means. For many people wisdom simply means lots of knowledge. But wisdom is more than that. While there is not yet one sharp, clear definition of wisdom that everyone agrees upon, efforts are being made to bring the concept back into common use and to refine our understanding of it. Academic researchers and others are investigating prudence and are attempting to get a clear picture of its constituents.

Wisdom isn’t simply intelligence or knowledge or even understanding. It is the ability to use these to think and act in such a way that common sense prevails and choices are beneficial and productive. That is my definition anyway. You don’t get wisdom out of a textbook. You don’t get knowledge enough to make you wise. You don’t receive understanding from simply hearing others. Experience might be one of the most valuable tools in acquiring foresight.

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That is to say, what we learn from experience gives us the wisdom whether to try a particular thing or make a certain choice or not. You can hear lectures on swimming, you can read books on swimming, and you can understand the buoyancy of water from observation but until you jump in the water and get some experience, you won’t have true sagacity about the water and that may make all the difference between swimming and drowning. Experience is often the best teacher.

How blessed is the man who finds sagacity, and the man who gains understanding. For its profit is better than the profit of silver, and its gain than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast. (NAS, Proverbs 3:13-18)

Wisdom quotes

  1. The heart of the wise man lies quiet like limpid water —Cameroonian proverb
  2. If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove —Josh Billings
  3. The heart of the wise, like a mirror, should reflect all objects, without being sullied —Confucius
  4. Wisdom and virtue are like two wheels of a cart —Japanese proverb
  5. Wisdom is like fire: a little enlightens, much burns – Moses Ibn Ezra
  6. The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing – Socrates
  7. The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool. William Shakespeare
  8. It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle
  9. Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right. Isaac Asimov
  10. No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Eleanor Roosevelt
  11. 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. Confucius
  12. It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness. Leo Tolstoy

We often use words we think we understand, until someone asks us to define them. Then we are faced with the startling realization that we’re—well, not quite sure; not definite; well, it’s kind of like this; or Gosh, I think I need a dictionary. Even then, sometimes, the dictionary just doesn’t quite fill the bill. We read the definition and find that something is still missing. And that’s the way with foresight.

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How to be Wise?

We all have heard of it. We all have used it. But few of us, if any, can offer a definition that everyone would totally agree with…or that everyone would agree is all-encompassing.

The strength of wisdom refers to the ability to take stock of life in large terms, in ways that make sense to oneself and others.

The strength of wisdom refers to the ability to take stock of life in large terms, in ways that make sense to oneself and others.

In that light, I offer to you what “wisdom” means to me. I might add, too, that my definition comes not from Webster, but instead from my understanding of the Holy Bible. For to me that is where all wisdom begins: it is from our God, our creator. It is not merely the result of human ability or effort (Proverbs 2:6).

What is wisdom?

How does anyone become wise? Is it something you are, something you have, or something you do? Does anyone ever set out to develop or acquire wisdom as a goal? How does a person become wise? Do people regarded as wise think of themselves as wise? What is it about someone that has others see them as wise?

Wise people have accurate, perceptive insights into human behavior and understand how things work. They are observers of human nature, are master psychologists with excellent emotional intelligence. They have learned what they know from real life experience, not from academic study. They generally keep what they know to themselves, but are willing to share what they know with certain individuals. They are available to give advice to open-minded learners. They have a talent for asking questions that lead to new understanding. Are conscious of themselves, and can communicate what they know when they choose to.

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The strength of being wise

refers to the ability to take stock of life in large terms, in ways that make sense to oneself and others. Prudence is the product of knowledge and experience, but it is more than the accumulation of information. It is the coordination of this information and its deliberate use to improve well-being. In a social context, wisdom allows the individual to listen to others, to evaluate what they say, and then offer them good (sage) advice.
Wisdom
Sagacity appears in different forms. Conventional wisdom, also regarded as commonplace knowledge, generally refers to ideas and beliefs the majority of people in society hold as true. These ideas have not necessarily been researched or explored in any deep, meaningful way; they simply are honored because so many adhere to them.

Foresight is most commonly referred to as a characteristic in a person who acts using common sense, experience and understanding. Wisdom is something that is gained over a long period of time.

Sagacity is a positive predictor of successful aging. In fact, wisdom is more robustly linked to the well-being of older people than objective life circumstances such as physical health, financial well-being, and physical environment. Experiencing stressful life events across time can facilitate the development of prudence – up to a point. People seem to benefit from stressful life experiences, particularly if they respond well to them.

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