W is for Wisdom

Texture by Jay Hilgert: stained concrete 5

Wisdom is scar tissue in disguise.
~Unknown

I probably don’t need to tell you there’s a difference between intelligence and wisdom. We all know those scholarly folks who spend time reading and researching in order to become knowledgeable experts. They’re brim full of book knowledge, but sometimes the wisdom container seem to be empty. That’s because wisdom is not something we learn in a book. The Mensa IQ tests don’t include questions pertaining to wisdom.

Confucius, that ancient Chinese philosopher (551-479 BC), is credited with saying:

By three methods we may learn wisdom:
first, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.

And ain’t it the truth?! Which one of us doesn’t have a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks? Or at least a masters degree from the University of Trial by Fire? No one? That’s what I thought. Not that knowledge isn’t valuable..it’s absolutely essential if we’re going to figure out what to do with those God-given talents and skills. But wisdom is something learned deep, deep in the heart. It’s learned, first-hand, from experiencing joy beyond measure and love beyond explanation.

Likewise, if we’ve never experienced pain or loss that rips out our heart, disappointment or failure that breaks our will, or the sheer beauty of forgiveness, we’ve never fully experienced the valuable lessons life has to teach us. Many times, it’s through the bitter experiences in our lives that we gain the most wisdom and ability to face and change the future.

And that simply cannot be taught through the words of someone else.

Linking up with ABC Wednesday

13 thoughts on “W is for Wisdom

  1. So well said, Lisa.

    I might add that intelligence and wisdom also have little to do with education. Some of the most “educated” people I know have little street smarts or awareness, much less wisdom. Some of the smartest people I know have little “formal” education. Some of the wisest? They’ve absorbed life through their battles and pores, and offer lessons if we have the willingness to listen. We have much to learn from them.

    Like

  2. Recently, I struggled quite a bit with a bad decision I made. I questioned……Why? Why? Why? Did this thing happen? Why did I go through this?

    But really? It’s all pretty clear isn’t it? The good thing about bitter is that it makes sweet that much more delicious. ūüôā

    Like

  3. “Like¬≠wise, if we‚Äôve never expe¬≠ri¬≠enced pain or loss that rips out our heart, dis¬≠ap¬≠point¬≠ment or failure that breaks our will, or the sheer beauty of for¬≠give¬≠ness, we‚Äôve never fully expe¬≠ri¬≠enced the valu¬≠able lessons life has to teach us. Many times, it‚Äôs through the bitter expe¬≠ri¬≠ences in our lives that we gain the most wisdom and ability to face and change the future.”
    What you shared in this paragraph is very WISE!

    Like

  4. Excellent post, wise, wise words, a great explanation of the value of those tough experiences, encouraging all of us to learn from them and to move forward.

    Like

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