There is a distinction between wisdom and knowledge. Many of the world’s wisest people throughout history possessed little or no formal schooling, yet many were thought of as some of the wisest people who ever lived. Socrates, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Steve Jobs, Jane Goodall, Michael Faraday, John Rockefeller, John Glenn, Gregor Mendel, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Ford, Richard Branson, and Mark Twain, the list is endless.
Some of the most formally educated people I know struggle with communicating with others, so that they comprehend what is being communicated. Other formally educated acquaintances struggle with the menial tasks of everyday life, they are “trapped” in the web of constant tunnel vision in their education.
Knowledge is a completely distinct thing from wisdom. Knowledge is just something one gains, while wisdom is the ability to use both knowledge and experience for critical thinking, and allows one to question their conclusions, and to change them when the facts warrant.
The fallacy I see in education today is that it is more indoctrination than seeking knowledge. Teaching the young to apply experience, to question for themselves what they are being taught, and the thinking behind it, is gone from many curriculums, replaced by, most times, a biased view of the subject with no explanation of the thinking or facts behind it. This is not teaching, but indoctrination into a single way of thinking than education.
We need to teach the young to use their experience and to question politely the conclusions they are being taught or eventually the entire nation will turn into automatons. We desperately need more free thinkers like the ones listed in the beginning, who use knowledge and wisdom together in their thinking, or surely we are headed for a nation full of automatons. As Socrates said, “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” What do you think??