If you have been following this course keenly, you must have noticed that we were off for about a week. This was our last post. As it is commonly said, it is good from time to time to take a step backwards to better jump.
We started the course by talking about wisdom. We underscored the importance of wisdom. Today, we are rounding off on this topic by differentiating between wisdom, knowledge and intelligence before we leave you our final message.
Intelligence is not wisdom, neither is knowledge wisdom. These three words mean very different things.
Wisdom is defined by Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia as ‘the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight.’ It is the ability to judge correctly; to do what is right; to follow the best course of action.
Intelligence is the power of learning, understanding and reasoning. It is the mental ability to understand, know, retain and give back what we learn. Someone is said to be intelligent if the one learns with ease, is able to retain and remember what has been learned.
Knowledge is the facts, information, understanding and skills that a person acquires through formal, informal or non-formal learning.
Since the creation of the world, a lot of knowledge has been generated and continues to be generated. As we explore the world by going to the moon, mars, and under the seas, as we study other people, plants, animals and even none living things, as we do all types of inventions, more knowledge is added to existing knowledge.
We can only know a minute fraction of the knowledge that has been generated or discovered since man came on earth. And what is still to be discovered is more than what has been discovered.
The knowledge that we gain or acquire needs to be used. If it is not, it will serve no purpose, and the time and effort put in to acquire it will just be a waste. The mere use of knowledge is no guarantee for excellent results. We can use our knowledge to acquire or produce poor, good or excellent results.
To produce excellent results we need to use our knowledge wisely. If we use our knowledge to handle delicate or intricate issues well and come out successfully, then we are said to be wise. Wisdom, therefore, is that attribute in us which enables us to use our knowledge to come out with excellent results.
Making good judgment is excellent use of knowledge. With good judgment we take excellent decisions or make excellent choices. The result of excellent decisions or choices is excellent results.
Without wisdom, even if you have all the knowledge in the world, you will not be able to make good judgment and, therefore, will not obtain good results.
This explains why someone may be very intelligent and very well equipped with knowledge on different subjects but will be a woeful failure in life.
The reason being that although he may have the ability to learn and know many things (which makes him intelligent), he will be unable to use the knowledge acquired to make good judgment that will lead to good decisions or choices that will give good results.
Hence, such a person may always be the first in class but will not be the one who comes out on top in life.
Therefore, it is not enough to master school subjects such as English, French, Mathematics, Philosophy, History, Geography, and Literature etc. The knowledge acquired from these subjects is important but must be wisely used to handle and overcome the challenges of life.
To use our knowledge wisely demands that we take time to think about what we have to do. Also, we must acquire wisdom as we saw in How to get wisdom.
What do we take home?
What we take home is wisdom is using knowledge and intelligence for excellent results. It is living rightly; acting rightly; doing what must be done and refraining from what must not be done. It is following the right path in life as our creator wants us to do; focusing on pleasing him (God) in whose hands is our destiny.
Be wise in everything you do.
Let me leave you with a few wise words on wisdom.
“A wise person does not think less of another who chooses not to follow their advice,” (Urban Dictionary)
“Wisdom is not undermining a person for their weaknesses, but appreciating their strengths differ from yours.” (Urban
“Wisdom outweighs any wealth.”(Sophocles)
Strive to be a wise person. Bring wisdom into everything you do. God will crown your efforts.