We often use the words knowledge and wisdom. We speak about a man’s wisdom and also about a person who has vast knowledge of various subjects. The words seem to be synonymous. Actually there are quite a few differences between the two words, knowledge and wisdom.
Fact 1 What Is Knowledge
Knowledge is the accumulation of various types of facts, information, data, etc. gathered from different sources over a period of time. We acquire knowledge from books, experiences and also regular events. What we did not know yesterday, we know it today. That information may change or enhanced by another event or practical experience after a few days. In this way, knowledge keeps on growing. The more you have the urge to know new things and experience the unknown, you gather more knowledge.
Fact 2 What Is Wisdom
Like knowledge wisdom is also related to the mind and the process of accumulating experiences and knowledge. Wisdom is something beyond that. It is the ability to relate the experiences and knowledge gathered to circumstances and judge correctly. The power of discerning facts and knowledge is referred to as wisdom. A wise man is one you gives good advice as he/she can judge correctly as to what is right/true or wrong/false. In other words, practical use or application of knowledge is wisdom. There are knowledgeable persons but they are not always wise people. It is a special inborn ability of some individuals that make them stand out from rest of the people.
Fact 3 Differences
There are some real differences in meaning and application of the words knowledge and wisdom. Let us discuss it further to find out the actual connotation of the two important words that we use so often.
- Knowledge comes from the word “to know”. That means it is directly related to the process of knowing something new and discovering the unknown facts through experiences and other sources like books, facts, data, information, etc. But wisdom is the use or application of the gathered knowledge. It is a higher process. For example, the mind knows what a red light stands for on the streets but you do not stop unless your wisdom tells you to do so. In other words, you will stop when you see the red light because you have knowledge about it and what it means and since you are a wise man, you know that it is right to stop when you see the red light on the roads.
- Knowledge in concerned about facts and information that we gather from information, experience, research, study, observation and investigation. Wisdom acts on these gathered knowledge and finds out what is right and wrong, what is true and false. But this judgement cannot be held as universal truth. It depends on the situation. An act may be right for one person but wrong for another.
- Knowledge exists on its own. One can gather knowledge from various sources irrespective of time and place, through experience or acquaintances or may be reasoning. Knowledge is a complete quality that does not depend on anything else to exist. But wisdom is dependent on knowledge. A wise man reasons on the basis of gathered knowledge and not otherwise. There a knowledgeable person may not be wise but a wise man has to be a knowledgeable person for application of the gathered knowledge.
- Knowledge knows which things and events you like the most. But your wisdom tells you which one to choose by explaining the vices and virtues of every act.
Knowledge means the storehouse of all information while wisdom applies it to improve the quality of life.