Texture by Jay Hilgert: stained concrete 5
Wisdom is scar tissue in disguise.
I probably don’t need to tell you there’s a difference between intelligence and wisdom. We all know those scholarly folks who spend time reading and researching in order to become knowledgeable experts. They’re brim full of book knowledge, but sometimes the wisdom container seem to be empty. That’s because wisdom is not something we learn in a book. The Mensa IQ tests don’t include questions pertaining to wisdom.
Confucius, that ancient Chinese philosopher (551−479 BC), is credited with saying:
By three methods we may learn wisdom:
first, by reflection, which is noblest;
second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third, by experience, which is the most bitter.
And ain’t it the truth?! Which one of us doesn’t have a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks? Or at least a masters degree from the University of Trial by Fire? No one? That’s what I thought. Not that knowledge isn’t valuable..it’s absolutely essential if we’re going to figure out what to do with those God-given talents and skills. But wisdom is something learned deep, deep in the heart. It’s learned, first-hand, from experiencing joy beyond measure and love beyond explanation.
Likewise, if we’ve never experienced pain or loss that rips out our heart, disappointment or failure that breaks our will, or the sheer beauty of forgiveness, we’ve never fully experienced the valuable lessons life has to teach us. Many times, it’s through the bitter experiences in our lives that we gain the most wisdom and ability to face and change the future.
And that simply cannot be taught through the words of someone else.