Row: Knowledge, Intelligence, Experience

Wisdom, knowledge, and intelligence, are often thought to be synonymous. I believe they are distinctly different, but that is my belief. Knowledge is acquired through experience and studies. We, meaning the human race, are born with varying degrees of intelligence, and this, too, is influenced throughout our years of growth and development by experience and academia.

I have learned, from many sources, that wisdom is knowing how and when to use either, or both, knowledge and intelligence. Just knowing how or when to use them, does not identify one as ‘wise’. The individual must demonstrate the use of both. I have met many well educated people, knowledgeable in their profession, and whose peers recognized them as very intelligent. Based on those qualities they were placed in positions of leadership, but they made poor leaders. Not only did they not know how or when to use their knowledge, but they lacked experience. When called upon to demonstrate intelligence and knowledge in a trying situation, their response reflected emotions and left all concerned dissatisfied.

On several occasions I have been involved in situations when a supervisor lacked experience, and had no idea how to approach an employee when a problem arose within the work force. I have experienced demonstrations of anger, lies, jealousy, rudeness, suspicion, distrust and more. Never did the supervisors evidence; any degree of intelligence, understanding or wisdom; and, their own anger and distrust carried on for weeks.

How can wisdom be recognized? One word comes to mind, and that is ‘love’. When a difficult situation arises within a work place (I have chosen this example for simplicity of explanation), and workers are disgruntled, a wise supervisor uses his/her knowledge, intelligence and wisdom to help them recognize and solve their problem. The supervisor understands that the expressions of anger do not define the individual, but are merely temporary emotions. One can refuse to agree with a particular idea, and still have love and compassion for the individual.

Wisdom is not something one studies in high school or a university. Wisdom is an understanding one has within, and is the result of introspect and meditation. Wisdom comes from within as the result of experience added to one’s knowledge and intelligence. Wisdom is more than ‘knowing’, it is practicing love and compassion.

imagesA dear friend, I have known for many years, was a very defensive person when younger. In more recent years I have noticed a change and asked her how she achieved her more peaceful way of life. She told me she started asking herself what Jesus would do in an annoying situation. She soon changed and asks herself if a rebuttal will improve the situation. If the answer is ‘no’, or ‘it will probably make it worse’, she changes the subject, or returns to her activity, which is usually reading. Perhaps that is a step in the right direction. Is she using wisdom? I believe she is because I have been present at times when a potential problem arose between her and another. There were no angry words or argument and the environment was not charged with negativity. We all enjoyed a pleasant time together.

For examples of ‘wisdom’, I read the Dali Lama’s Book, ‘The Path To Tranquility‘, because in it I find responses to various dilemmas that show how Love and Compassion can make people feel better about themselves and each other.

– Rowena Nichols, Columnist ‘Row’

RowenaRowena Nichols, RN, Dr. MMT, PTA. Registered Nurse with  BS in Nursing, Dr. of Medical Massage Therapy, and Physical Therapy Assistant(Certification). Beyond the use of her mass credentials, she has had a “full and rewarding life,” including living and teaching in Chile and returning to nursing at age 80.  Currently, she is  writing articles for several Newsletters and magazines, including problem solving for tutors of English at a Literacy organization in New Mexico.


 

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