For many of us, the craving and pursuit of knowledge is insatiable, we can’t seem to get enough. It is perhaps one reason we attend this site. More data, more data, more data, in a never ending absorption to know more… be smarter… expand our on board database. But what do we do with all this knowledge?
I’ve often, like you I am sure, been called smart throughout my life. A very satisfying positive feedback, but is it substantive? It has been and continues to be one of the benchmarks of our society. Let’s face it; smart people garner a degree of immediate respect. Somewhere in my late twenties, early thirties I had an epiphany of sorts, smart isn’t good enough, not the be all and end all. Enter, WISDOM.
We think of wisdom or wise people and the original triumvirate of philosophers come to mind; Socrates, Plato, Aristotle. They certainly seem to have been wise and left a legacy of wisdom for all. Translating that to modern times we think of; the Dalai Lama, Ghandi, even Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King to name a few – let’s not forget Yoda. All considered wise but why?
So, what is wisdom I deliberated? Here is a little formula I’ve come up with to this point and it continues to evolve as do we. Let us know your own thoughts, definition, feelings and ideas.
Wisdom = Knowledge (what) + Experience (how) + Compassion (when) + Self-Awareness (why)
Knowledge, that smartness we seek so vehemently is a fundamental element but really only allows us to know the ‘what’ about something, nothing more.
Experience is also a fundamental element of wisdom and it allows us a personal insight into ‘how’ something works. The thought process of; I’ve come across this (or something very like this) before and this worked and this didn’t.
These two elements were the entirety of my initial formula but it evolved…
Compassion – without showing compassion in any given situation we’re at a loss in our timing of when best to bring forth our wisdom. The correct timing (when) is critical for best outcomes.
And recently, Self-Awareness has entered my formula as it can provide the why. If we aren’t self-aware we are more apt to roll out our wisdom for the wrong reasons.
We’re very interested in your thoughts on wisdom and if you have a formula or definition. Thanks for sharing and
Enjoy the journey!