Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowledge and Wisdom

By Floyd Miller

 

 

 

One day an old cat was watching a young cat chase his tail. The young one worked and worked chasing his tail in a circle, finally quitting after running out of breath. When he sat down to rest, the older cat walked up and asked him why he was chasing his tail. The young one said happiness was in his tail and if he caught it, he would be happy. The old cat replied he believed that too, but he had learned over the years he couldn’t catch it by chasing it. However, if he forgot about it and just went on with life, his tail {{more}} followed him wherever he went.Knowledge is a collection of information about many things, some profound and some simple. Wisdom is knowledge that is applied to life’s challenges and dilemmas. If what a person knows is not used, it is simply knowledge, not wisdom. It is like using a Bible for a doorstop rather than using it to guide one’s journey opening the doors of life.Often we catch ourselves facing difficulties in life. It doesn’t matter what we try to do to remedy the problem nothing works. Then we may recall something a parent or a preacher said, or maybe even something we ourselves said to one of our children or to a friend that directly addresses our problem. At that moment it is like the cloud of despair parts making way for the rays of light and hope. That is the function of wisdom, to provide clarity and direction in the presence of confusion so that the steps we take lead to better times. Wisdom crashes through confusion and foolishness like a wrecking ball crashes through an old building. It breaks down the old that has no use and stands in the way making way for the new.There was a husband and wife who were both doctors. He had a doctor of theology degree and she had a doctor of medicine degree. One day at home, someone came to the door. The maid went to the door and the visitor asked for the doctor. The maid asked, “Which do you want, the one that preaches or the one that practices?”Teaching wisdom is a lot easier than practicing it. However, living life in ignorance or rebellion is much more difficult than using wisdom to guide our steps. Someone has said that a person who does not read has no advantage over one who cannot read. Not using available knowledge that would help is worse than being ignorant. Fear often blocks our use of wisdom. Improvement will always be on the other side of fear, never on this side.In sports coaches always take their players back to the basics to recover from slumps. Maybe in life, if we could just use the knowledge we have or that is available to us, we could stop chasing our tails permitting happiness and well being to follow us wherever we go.By Rusty Mclen