Knowledge and Wisdom: what are they and how to get them

Knowledge is the facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject; what is known in a particular field or in total.  

Shouldland stems from the belief that YOUR knowledge is the extent of ALL knowledge. If a person believes that there is no existing knowledge outside of their own brain, they won’t seek out more knowledge. This leads me to what wisdom is.

Wisdom is the understanding that YOUR knowledge is NOT the extent of ALL knowledge, and at the same time having some feel for the infinite space of knowledge out there. It is seeing the patterns in unknown things. Thus it could be said that wisdom is the opposite of Shouldland.

In his book ‘The Social Animal’, David Brooks describes wisdom as knowing how to treat knowledge. He continues by adding that it is a willingness to confront counterevidence and to have a feel for the vast spaces beyond what is known. In practice, Brooks persists, wisdom is knowing when to apply the standard operating procedure to situations and when to break the rules.

This is just like the resistance of Shouldland – having the ability to ignore all of the rules that are irrelevant to your life.

In one last piece of wise advice to gain wisdom, Brooks urges us to purge our mind of prejudice, habit and prior belief.

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