Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there. ~ Philip Brooks
You have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ~ Anonymous
A good laugh is sunshine in the house. ~ William Makepeace Thackeray
We have 12 guests and no members online
TOO SMART TO BE WISE
For those of us who survived the economic downturn of the early 1980s, we swore we would never let ourselves get into that predicament again. Suffering double digit unemployment rates, high interest rates, and uncontrollable debt loads, we became much wiser through those hardships. I think we need to share some of those experiences with the younger folks.
Let me ask you this, folks, would you rather be smart or wise? Many people get the two confused. But you can have one of the greatest educations available, in multiple fields, yet not be considered wise. You may have been top of your class in business school, yet have absolutely no skills when it comes to actually running a business.
A smart person has knowledge they have acquired, perhaps through study, or maybe by following others before them. But a wise person will gain their knowledge through observation of others and life experience. Let me give you an example.
A smart person knows that moisture sticks to metal in sub-zero temperatures. They learn through science classes, books etc. Yet some of the smartest people have placed their tongues on a bicycle rack or flag pole in the dead of winter. They’ve been told the repercussions, yet they had to try it. Alas, they have to have someone rescue them with warm water or something along those lines, so as to remove their tongue. A wise person may be just as curious, but will watch how things work out for the person foolish enough to try. You see, a smart person makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise person watches a smart person and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.
A smart person displays confidence in their abilities; whereas a wise person is aware of their own weaknesses and displays humbleness so as to learn more. It’s easier for a wise person to gain knowledge than for a smart person to gain judgment. The obvious difference is that being smart is a process of learning while being wise is a product of experience.
It’s through experience that we learn how to use our knowledge. Through it, we acquire good judgement, understanding, and sensibility. A smart person knows that a tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable. But a wise person knows you shouldn’t put a tomato in a fruit salad.
Now, as I watch the younger generations grow, I have to admire how innovative they are. They are creating things that my generation never dreamed was possible. They have taken concepts that we used to read about in science fiction novels and made them a reality. And because of their ingenuity, many of life’s challenges have been made easier for all.
But as smart as they are, they lack wisdom. They squander their talents, resources, and money, just as my generation did when we were young. We again see double digit unemployment rates. And although interest rates haven’t climbed yet, they have debt loads higher than we ever dreamed possible. We need look no further than our own food bank to see that many families are finding it hard to make ends meet. And, as taxes climb and disposable income shrinks, they endure stresses that my generation is more than familiar with.
It’s not their fault, folks. It’s ours. We didn’t teach them what we learned. We are wise, not because of our age, but because of our experience. But we forgot one very important thing. No one recognizes a wise person unless they share their wisdom. And, unfortunately, no matter how smart someone might be, they are doomed to repeat history’s mistakes without wisdom to guide them down a different path.