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Knowledge and Wisdom

To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe. – Marilyn vos Savant

Not going to lie, this quote was a fun one in school today.  Kids just don’t pick up on subtle nuances.  Can you guess what I’m talking about?  Yep, the difference between knowledge and wisdom.  Anyhow, yes, knowledge and wisdom can mean similar things, but the way I’m reading this quote, they are different.  We all have the ability to gain knowledge.  I spend my days imparting knowledge to students as do all the other teachers in our school.  And sometimes the students will take in the information that is being given, and sometimes they’ll even retain it long enough to regurgitate it on a test, or in a paper.  I’m fairly confident that it’s like that in most schools.  There is give and take, and there is discussion, and it’s good.  I’m not knocking the educational system at all.  But now, I want you to think about those people that we all know, the ones we call the “old souls.”  You know the ones.  They sit, and observe,  and they just take everything in.  Sure they’ll participate in the give and take knowledge exchange, but they spend more time just watching and listening.  They’re the ones who are acquiring wisdom.  They’re watching and seeing the knowledge that is being exchanged, and the reactions of everyone.  They can spout off the facts that they are given, but they also are able to share something more – some insights that bring life to the facts.  To me, that’s what wisdom is.  Wisdom isn’t something that we teach, but when we teach our children how to listen and observe, we provide them with the tools to become wise.

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