What is Wisdom?

Searching for definitions of wisdom yields many results. For brevity’s sake I will limit myself to only pasting 2 different defnitions here:

1) Wikipedia: Wisdom is a deep understanding and realization of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to apply perceptions, judgements and actions in keeping with this understanding. It often requires control of one’s emotional reactions (the “passions”) so that universal principles, reason and knowledge prevail to determine one’s actions. Wisdom is also the comprehension of what is true coupled with optimum judgment as to action. Synonyms include: sagacity, discernment, or insight.

2) Merriam-Webster:  1)a : accumulated philosophic or scientific learning : knowledge b : ability to discern inner qualities and relationships : insight c : good sense : judgment : generally accepted belief <challenges what has become accepted wisdom among many historians — Robert Darnton> 2) a wise attitude, belief, or course of action 3): the teachings of the ancient wise men

In my actual perception of what wisdom is I believe that key words are understanding, comprehension and action.  I don’t think that wisdom necessarily correlates with scientific or even philosophic knowledge. Wisdom can surely come without formal or informal instruction in these fields. An example of this situation would be people who are street-wise or experienced.

Also I completely disagree that wisdom can only come from ancient wise men. Any given person that has moderate-to-extensive experience with developing children will find that there are streaks of wisdom and insight in their simple remarks.

Summing these up: wisdom can come or not from experiences. This term proves elusive if not contradictory.

I don’t know how wisdom relates to the theme of this blog “What am I?” but surely sounds like a helpful thing to have during this trek. In the coming entries hopefully I will stumble upon a personal definition of Wisdom that I can use.



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