We have been taught that knowledge and wisdom are one in the same. I have always argued that these two concepts are different. Although they may be interchangeable, I genuinely see them as two separate schools of learning. I wanted to dedicate two blog posts to exposing the different thoughts that I have about these topics. First, let us investigate knowledge as concept separate from wisdom.
Let's Examine knowledge.
Knowledge is defined as "Facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject."
What makes a person knowledgeable? We often say people are knowledgeable about a particular subject or area. This means that they know about the topic extensively usually through researching about it. They use the internet or even go old school and check out books about it from the library. Perhaps they have studied the topic in school and then have chosen to do extra research about it.
Knowledge is subjective. We learn about something to understand what the thing is or how it affects other things around us. Therefore, we are talking about facts, information, or skills. It is a certain type of understanding on a more shallow level.
Knowledge is learned through social institutions such as schools or universities for reports or projects. It can also be acquired through self research, word of mouth, or through documentaries on Netflix.
Most of us learn about a topic for a specific purpose and then rarely use that knowledge again, unless we are conversing about that particular topic. We do not use these topics in our everyday lives. If we do, we are using the knowledge we attained about that topic to continue our own lives.
Please consider the following example:
I am adopted and this has created a lot of mixed feelings for me. I have struggled with understanding who I really am in relation to my biological family for a majority of my life. I often talk about my adoption to others. I find that people who are knowledgeable about adoption often respond with how I'm lucky to have been adopted and that I should be grateful that my adoptive family saved me.
This example shows that the person understands what adoption is and is knowledgeable about it. However, they aren't able to understand it from the perspective of a person who has been adopted or from the perspective of a person who has adopted. There is a lack of ability to empathize and posses the emotion to understand the situation. Instead, it is more of a logical response to a topic.
Knowledge is used in our everyday lives, yet it holds different characteristics than wisdom. When we look at it from this perspective, we see that being knowledgeable is an accomplishment yet we now begin to understand the difference between the two concepts known as wisdom and knowledge.
In my next post, I plan to discuss wisdom in relation to knowledge.