Saturday, December 10, 2011

Knowledge and Wisdom

I contend that knowledge is remembered awareness. Wisdom is rightly applied knowledge.


We encounter information every minute of every day. Our senses are constantly feeding data to our brain. Much of it is ignored. That which we are aware of and remember becomes knowledge. 


The brain itself can interfere with this process if it is in less-than-optimum condition. Dementia, genetic disorders, alcohol and drugs can all affect the brain's ability to remember and synthesize the data is receives. 

Not all knowledge is beneficial or constructive. Some of it is downright detrimental to our happiness and peace of mind. We do have a certain degree of control over what knowledge we retain and use and what we ignore. 

Wisdom as the application of knowledge in a way that's most beneficial for ourselves and our world.



Wisdom is taking the knowledge we posses and applying it to achieve positive results. While we may not have full control over what knowledge gets put into our brain, wisdom is exercising full control over what we do with our knowledge. 


This is why we respect a knowledgeable person to a lesser degree than we respect a wise person. 


A person full of knowledge is a repository of information. That information may be useful or useless. We all know someone who delights in retaining thousands of bits of trivia; the only thing they usually do with it is entertain others or win bar bets. They have a lot of knowledge but fail to apply it in a way that is of benefit beyond becoming popular at parties or getting free drinks. 


The wise person takes the knowledge they have, however great or small the amount, and uses it to improve their own lives or the lives of others. A wise person can change the world.


Knowledge is the banishment of ignorance, wisdom is the application of knowledge. 
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