Knowledge vs. Wisdom
Note: Since 2018, I have placed these short quotes on our refrigerator at home to provide subtle hints for successful, thoughtful, and purposeful practices in hopes my teens would internalize them. Along the way, I found them helpful in my own life.
Marilyn Vos Savant is an author, philosopher and columnist for Parade. She held the Guinness World Record for the highest IQ.
There is a lot of debate between school smarts vs. street smarts. Theoretical vs. Practical.
The way Ms. vos Savanat portrays it, knowledge and wisdom are in competition with each other. Be wise or knowledgeable. But is this a binary choice? Or can it be a continuum of learning?
Learning is a lifelong endeavor. From the moment when you learn to recognize food, loved ones or a favorite toy, your life is about learning. Learning spurs growth and there are different pathways to continue that personal growth.
You learn by observing. You watch and understand how to perform based on experimentation and observation. Thomas Edison famously quipped he learned 1,000 ways not to create electric light before he created the light bulb.
But what if you complement your real-world experience through formal learning and that allows you to skip some of the trial-and-error. Light bulb makers know the principles of creating light. Now they can move on to making better light bulbs or even LED lights. They didn’t need to observe someone making a lightbulb.
Similarly, technical learning doesn’t complete mastering the subject. One must participate and understand the why. You might read all about how an engine works, but until you get under the hood and observe first-hand, you’re not going to be an effective auto technician.
For me, this Fridge Philosophy is about awareness. Knowledge and Wisdom are tools to position one’s self toward success. Knowledge provides the data and Wisdom provides the ability to utilize the data for a purpose. For the greatest success, they must be used in concert. Even better, they can be used toward achieving a goal.
As I continue down this writing journey, I try to balance knowledge and wisdom. There is the technical part of writing and creating a story. There is character development, story structure, point of view and storytelling technique. Formal writing programs, books, seminars, websites, master classes live in this space. But then there is the wisdom that comes with the observation of humanity, the reactions to situations, the flow of life that provide the spice. One doesn’t flourish without the other. As a writer trying to sell a book, I can read all about Amazon algorithms and social media posts, but when I connect with readers and understand their preferences, I can produce greater results.
When they work together, Knowledge and Wisdom provide an intellectual framework for success. One can see it and touch it. How do you view it? Do they work together in your world? Or does one dominate another?
Side of Mustard
My wife and I are big streamers. We like to spend our evenings together watching a couple of shows, critique them together, roll our eyes at the lack of reality, and also tear up or laugh at the right moments. I like streaming a lot of shows at once. My wife would rather we pick 2-3 shows and watch them through before we move onto the next. Last week we finished three shows and are now moving onto the next.
Ted Lasso. (Apple TV+) I wrote about my impressions of the show last week. For the last 12 weeks, we looked forward to Ted Lasso Tuesday. Now, we have to find something to fill that void. Must Watch
The Diplomat. (Netflix). A mix between The Good Wife and Madame Secretary but not nearly executed as well, this show should have a pharmaceutical voiceover: Symptoms may include eye rolls, hating the protagonist, wondering if the writers even know how international diplomacy works, not believing the main relationship, picking out their relationship problems with ease, and counting down the episodes until it’s over. Still, it was vaguely entertaining and a nice little cliffhanger leading into the next season. Meh
Transatlantic. (Netflix). Taking place at the beginning of World War II in occupied Marseille, France, this show tells the story of a group of Americans, French nationalists, British spies and more trying to smuggle Jews out of France. The quirky trailer is edited like a Wes Anderson film, but the show is much more straightfoward. The first episode drags a bit, but as we get to know the characters, their struggle becomes more real. Recommend