“To acquire knowledge, one must study; to acquire wisdom one must observe.” Marilyn vos Savant

Wisdom is the theme this week and a very interesting quotation from somebody who I had never heard of, but it turns out who has a perfect surname as it is claimed that she has the highest IQ of anybody who has ever lived. Quite a claim, I agree, nevertheless, she is clearly an incredibly clever person.

Depending on which way one reads the quotation, it might be possible to argue that there is no point in studying if one wants to be wise. I would disagree and say that studying is the underlying key to wisdom; it is the mechanism through which one is permitted to observe. When we observe something that we understand (that we have studied or learned in some other way), we learn from it and may become wiser. Or maybe not! Knowledge is the easy part-knowing what to do with it makes all the difference.

Wisdom is a difficult thing to explain, and certainly a difficult thing to teach. It is that knowledge, that experience, that intelligence, that judgement and those ideas kind of all rolled in to one. So I guess it is an impossible thing to teach. How does one become wise then? I guess by doing what the quotation says, and observing, and listening, and questioning, and reflecting, and engaging, and thinking, and summarising, and synthesising, and analysing, and arguing, and so forth.

Whatever it takes, it certainly takes time and intellectual engagement. Wisdom and intelligence are totally different things. Our society seems to value intelligence above wisdom. Is that wise?

Have a great weekend wherever you are and don’t forget to pop in and see us if you are in the area

Best Wishes

Chris Randell