We often fail to draw a distinction between knowledge and wisdom. This leads to conflicts in many areas. The conflict between generations is mainly due to the lack of appreciation of this difference. At times our knowledge says something but the experience says something else. Those who understand the difference are able to harmonise the conflict while those who do not, lose their peace of mind. An effort is, therefore, being made to clarify the difference between ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Wisdom’ in a simple manner.
Wallace Friday has said: “Real Wisdom is more than Knowledge. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts; Wisdom is the interpretation of facts. Knowledge is culled from text books; Wisdom comes out of life.”
This quotation makes the distinction very clear. Wisdom comes by living well, by contemplation and by inculcating values in life. Knowledge can be acquired in a short time, but wisdom is acquired with time. Knowledge is no guarantee of success and harmony in life but a wise person is always successful and in tune with himself and the world. A Knowledgeable person may be literate but not educated, while a wise person is always educated. Knowledge is like ‘science’ while wisdom is like ‘technology’ which is applied science. As technology is more useful to mankind, so is the wise person as compared to the knowledgeable. Knowledge is only one component of wisdom, though an important one.
Having understood the difference, we must strive to grow wise. Then only will our value system become our asset and our lives become successful and harmonious. If we commit the mistake of taking ‘knowledge’ as a complete strategy in itself, we are in for trouble. No purpose will then be served by blaming the world around. On the other hand, a wise person has no complaint. For him, all situations are the varieties of life and he enjoys them all.