Knowledge and Wisdom

By Rakesh K Mittal IAS on 18-06-2011

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 harmonize 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.

About The Author

Rakesh K Mittal IAS

Sri Rakesh Kumar Mittal IAS (Retd.) had been an administrative officer in Uttar Pradesh state cadre for about 35 years. He is a spiritual man with high moral values and a selfless heart. He has founded 'Kabir Peace Mission'. He has also written several books on positive thinking.