My grandson recently asked me a strange question: “What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?” The reason it sounded strange is that I thought in all of the years he has been hanging with me, he would just naturally know how wise I am. Lord knows I have told him enough.
I have tried to teach him some important nuggets of wisdom I gleaned from life that wised me up in a hurry – don’t place your hand on a hot automobile muffler, light fixture, garden tiller engine, stove burner, etc. – and a big nugget that formed my philosophy of life: Don’t start vast projects with half-vast ideas.
“Wisdom is the pearl of great price,” I told him, “and we can’t handle wisdom all at once, so God sends it to us sort of piecemeal through our experiences. We gain wisdom when we finally learn how to apply the knowledge that we acquire.”
Well, right then and there it looked like he had grasped his first nugget of wisdom, by coming to me for information. He appeared to have ingested a big load of my knowledge, too, as he rolled his eyes, shook his head and walked off. I’ll give him more next time. Lots of people claim that I’m full of it.
And speaking of education, graduates and former scholars of Benvenue High School will be gathering here for our annual reunion May 5, and we will turn back the clock, in memory, to those years when we were gaining knowledge and wisdom. We know that life is a dance, and we Benvenue graduates have been shaking our booties on the dance floor of life for a long time. And as we gather and gab, we will fondly remember those whose dance has ended – and those who never had a chance to get on the dance floor.
Something new will be added to our gathering this year – we will finalize plans to establish a Benvenue High School Scholarship program that was approved by the alumni at last year’s reunion. Time will test the wisdom of our actions.
Education is so much more required and more expensive now than it was for my generation, and as our world progresses the price will probably keep climbing. Students today fare better financially than we did because we are better able to help our children and grandchildren than our parents or grandparents were.
Yet, sometimes we may think our efforts are wasted, because we still have drop-outs and failures. But those situations have always been part and parcel of the educational system.
We can’t go back in time and recapture what we think were thegolden years, as much as we sometimes would like. The world today is different in terms of what is required of our students.
Technology has brought us lots of innovations – some good, some not. Students today need to learn to tell the difference. I have a pet peeve with technology, concerning video games that children play. It keeps them indoors more.
For instance, this past Christmas, did you see children riding bikes or anything that requires physical effort to enjoy or playing with anything outside?
I don’t remember seeing any. I hope children are learning more about the real world, instead of a virtual world that exists only in the mind. Moreover, I hope they are learning to depend more on their own efforts to figure out answers, rather than getting answers by punching buttons on a machine.
I could be wrong about all of those things, of course, and my thinking akin to the fuzzy math that people sometimes use. I could be using fuzzy logic. It’s just that I believe true knowledge comes from the initiative to expend brain cells and physical effort.
Speaking of how the mind works, I notice that at a reunion there are some classmates who have aged so much that they don’t seem to recognize me anymore (purposely?) Can you imagine?
If you are there, talk to me, anyhow.
Maybe we will discuss knowledge and wisdom – or how I became a noted wiseacre.