What’s the Difference Between Knowledge and Wisdom?


2010 is a pivotal year, a season of transition and great change.

I say this as much from a feeling in my bones as any event I might specifically describe. In 2-3 years you will look back and see the pre-2010 world as strangely different from the one you find yourself living in.

5 years from now you’ll stand in wonder of once mighty empires that have fallen. By 2020, a company you’ve barely heard of today will be more powerful than Facebook or Google.

The sub-prime mortgage industry has ceased to exist in the US and will doubtfully ever return. Increasing government controls on old industries will force creativity to flee to new territories, because entrepreneurs can always innovate faster than bureaucrats can regulate.

In the 20th century, the top 1 billion people were the #1 driver in the world. The 21st century will be marked by the emergence of the “middle billions” – the tier of humanity which, now connected, can participate in the world marketplace. Many of the next wave of billionaires will come from countries we consider to be “underdeveloped.”

You are seeing that now on sites like Elance where an abundance of raw talent is available 24/7 from less developed, rapidly advancing countries. The middle billions will power the economic comeback.

You can use the information age to sharpen your mind and stay abreast of the greatest thinkers in history, or you can dull your senses with entertainment and pleasure seeking. Your choice.

You can use your iPod to tune in, or to tune out. You can contribute to the world you live in, or you can nurse at whatever breast keeps you sedated. Your decision.

Never before has there been a wider gap between those who are awake and those who are sleepwalking. You will only see this chasm widen.

The consequence of this is that politicians will try to get elected by promising to abolish the 80/20 rule. But regardless of their vain attempts, a tiny percentage of people will still drive the vast majority of progress.

You get to decide which side of the 80/20 tracks you live on.

Anyone can be knowledgable. You get knowledge from information being processed. Wisdom on the other hand can only come from experience. Taking action on the knowledge we’ve learned, is where wisdom comes from.

In a world that is drowning in data and information, the most precious commodity is WISDOM – the ability to make sound judgments and harness knowledge. To interpret and use information.

Wisdom comes from the outside. It’s requested and received. It’s not merely a ‘given.’ And it should never be taken for granted. Common Sense is uncommon and it will always be precious. Those who lack wisdom are unable to perceive things that are staring them in the face. And nothing you say will make them see.

I can only urge you to open your mind and your spirit to the things that are new. By this I don’t mean bells and whistles and gadgets. I mean shifts in the culture, new expectations, new paradigms. New rules that replace old ones that don’t work anymore. To live in the “is” world and not the “should be” world.

One thought on “What’s the Difference Between Knowledge and Wisdom?

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