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Wisdom vs. Knowledge

Knowledge is the accumulation of data points.  We can go on the internet, search for a topic of interest, and be provided with pages and pages of information.  We can spend all day reading about a particular topic, remember this data, and claim to have "knowledge."

Wisdom, on the other hand, is the effective application of this knowledge.  For example, we can go onto our state's DMV page and read every law regarding the rules of the road.  We can claim to be the most knowledgeable person about traffic law.  But we can't claim to have "wisdom" about those laws unless we effectively apply them when driving.

Wisdom also infers the ability to know WHEN to apply knowledge - which is where the "effective" application of knowledge comes in.  Using our traffic law example, we are "know" that we have the right of way when someone is trying to merge onto a highway.  Wisdom is acknowledging that the other person may not understand that we have the right of way and crash into us as a result - so allowing them access, even though we don't have to, displays wisdom.  

Knowledge is the accumulation of information; wisdom is understanding the reality of situations, managing expectations (realistic or not), and applying the knowledge in a way that benefits the greatest number of people at a particular moment in time.


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