Knowledge or Wisdom ?  

Philosophy_N_Sex 49M/47F
1147 posts
9/22/2005 11:31 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Knowledge or Wisdom ?

Song of the day: The Story in Your Eyes ‒ The Moody Blues

I was talking with my wise friend EM4M exploremore4me last week, and as usual we got into a deep discussion. This time the topic was the difference between knowledge and wisdom, and the price at which each one comes. I really enjoy chatting with someone who is never “at odds” with you, but will “compare notes,” makes conversation very pleasant! The “ You see this, and I see that,” exchange makes a bigger clearer picture for both to enjoy.

So we were discussing how wisdom and knowledge comes about.

Knowledge is great, it can save lives, save time, save money, it provides a way to make better choices than the uninformed. Knowledge can be obtained by reading, watching a program, surfing the net, attending class, watching another person, or even phoning a friend. Knowledge is often gained at our comfort level, on our terms at our convenience. We typically have a choice to obtain knowledge.

Wisdom can be defined as something like” The ability to apply the right knowledge, in the right amounts, at the right time.” Wisdom usually comes at the hands of a life-altering event. Never at our leisure, never at a convenient time and never in our comfort zone. You cannot be a wise spectator, you must live it, and only then you will know it.

Some of the life-altering events might be:

Doing something stupid. Doing something that really hurt another, or doing something that cheated yourself out of a life improving opportunity. One of those things that for the rest of your life you will kick yourself for, and hide your head in your hands and say,” I can’t believe I did that!”

A traumatic loss. The loss of a loved one, the loss of job, business, house, retirement fund, pet, or anything that was a huge part of who you were that is suddenly ripped away.

Traumatic event. Being a victim of natural disaster, terrorism, war, /assault, destruction, crime, illness or injury.

Once one of these “character testing” events occurs, wisdom or enlightenment seems to come after two more choices.

First is the choice of how much power to we give the pain and suffering and for how long. The grieving process is natural, healthy and necessary. After a reasonable amount of time, the person must decide to do one of the following.

Choice A-Keep grieving and spend the rest of their lives in a self-pity party. Burn up potential friends by never shutting up about how they suffered, and how the world is not fair (drama whores). They will we spend the rest of their days among those who also do nothing but cry how they will never over come this tragedy. Some will turn to drugs, alcohol, or other destructive behaviors. Some will just let their fire go out, and merely exist, like a bump on a log. As Andy Dufrane in Shaw Shank Redemption would say, “They got busy dying.”


Choice B-Realize this loss and pain is now a part of who they are, but it does not rule them. Life is large enough that there is more than enough “good things” out there to make up for this. They will relive the grieving process on bad days, but it is only a temporary set back. They know they have suffered before and will suffer again, but life is to short and precious to just curl up and die. Life is not fair it will never be fair. So they do the things we all hear such as. They “get back on the horse, they pull themselves up by the bootstraps, walk like a man, face the music, tap inner strength, show some guts, turn and fight, rise to the occasion, meet their destiny.”

Should the person decide to fight for life and future happiness, it seems wisdom has the second phase.

Many people return to a sense of balance, stronger, but pretty much back to their old selves. They might just live out their years at the status quo. Not seeing or choosing not to see the world with out the blinders on.

Then for some folks either during the crisis, or maybe years after, POW! A sudden new view of life occurs. Call it a “moment of clarity, epiphany, Ah-Ha moment, the light shines, metamorphosis, rebirth, renaissance/reawakening, it sinks in, revelation, vision of purpose, and even whoa dude!” They realize a whole new world that was right there under their nose the whole time.

Have you noticed that enlightened people do not “sweat the small stuff” very often. These are the people that stop and smell the roses, they tell those that are close to them how much they love/adore them, they are usually full of joy and energy, they think a child covered in cherry snow cone is the greatest thing ever, they take time to go watch the sunset. They realize life is too short and too valuable to be squandered on pity me attitude. Life is unfair, but unfairness has worked to their advantage in the long run. From their life struggle they see the big picture, and think in big picture terms. These are not perfect people, but the seem to give off a special something, and bring something special to all that they do.

True enlighten folks never brag or even bring up their past trauma, it is not a crutch, but part of who they are. Drama folks tell their suffering as soon as they know you will listen. The wise never use their past as an excuse to control others, but realize other only learn from freedom of choice. If the path/action was not chosen, it is not real!

Best example I can think of is Ebenezer Scrooge waking up that Christmas morning. During his moment of clarity he realized those ghost were not there to torture him. No, he was torturing himself in the hell he created. He could do nothing about Christmas past, but he could damn well change Christmas present, and bring about a better Christmas future. True to his word Scrooge became a joyful and generous man. Scrooge paid a price, but the long-term rewards over came the gap left by the loss of Feziwigg (His mentor) and the loss of his lover. It was the same as if Scrooge brought them back into his life. No longer a bitter man eating alone in a cold dark house, he lived in a house full of family, friends, and laughter.

I often wish I had a magic wand so I could make people stop hurting and suffering. Maybe, in the long term I would be doing a huge disservice. I would be better off helping people get back on their horses when they fall off. Remind them of the positives, and help them see the light. If one other person shows they are worth fighting for, they will begin to believe it themselves! Life is fluid. Life is dynamic. So in life as the good times must end, so must the bad times.

As always best wishes to you and yours!

P.S. I would still use the magic wand at times, I have trouble walking past the children’s cancer wing at the hospital.

rm_1hotwahine 63F
21091 posts
9/22/2005 12:50 pm

I just think that wisdom is what happens after you do something wrong a lot .

Yeah, I'm still [blog 1hotwahine]

ExploreMore4Me 59F

9/22/2005 1:40 pm

My Dear Friend P&S...First, the feelings are mutual. May you & Bekka and your little ones ALWAYS have the grace of wisdom at your disposal! I certainly know no others who deserves it more!

I too often wish there were a magic wand, the mysterious wand so often depicted in our many children's tales. Life could be made so much easier. There is however a "true magic wand"'s called Life and in it's magic are all the tools to self create! Teach your children to reach for the magic! The magic you will be rewarded with is worth far more than ANY ransome in gold!

Hugs & Kisses My Dear Friend! Thank You.


rm_luke69iner 48M
3275 posts
9/22/2005 2:23 pm

thanks i needed to read this even though i already knew it

"He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God."

S'io credesse che mia risposta fosse
A persona che mai tornasse al mondo,
Questa fiamma staria senza piu scosse.
Ma perciocche giammai di questo fondo
Non torno vivo alcun, s'i'odo il vero,
Senza tema d'infamia ti rispondo

FunandFrisky79 41M/37F

9/22/2005 5:00 pm

P&S- I think this is my favorite post of yours (so far)! I agree wholeheartedly with everything it represents.

Life really is too short to "sweat the small stuff" & to not express yourself! That's why I NEVER go to bed angry. And, I NEVER go to sleep without telling my fiancee, "I Love You", "Sweet Dreams", & "Goodnight"!

For every tragedy, there is a lesson to be learned. You never know what life has in store for you. All you can do is give it your all, and learn from your experiences.


rm_philonymph 38M
162 posts
9/22/2005 11:48 pm


Philosophy_N_Sex 49M/47F

9/23/2005 12:48 pm

If Ilearned for all my stupid things, I should be close to Plato by now laugh!!

Thank you do much for the kind wishes! I wish I had wisdom and knew all the answers, but I am sure you noticed I am kind of a dumbass at times grin I wish I had half your wisdom!

Hey there! Wisdom and a funny black tie, good combination grin!

Thank you very kind of you to say! Do enjoy you stopping by. I am sure you are very affectionate to thsoe who mean the world to you! You are just one cool chick . You too have been through much, but still see the world as young a new. you are far wiser than I. I bow humbly at your presence!

back at you! thanks for stopping by!

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