` St Edward King and Martyr » Wisdom (Fraser Watts)

Wisdom (Fraser Watts)

Posted by: | Posted on: November 22, 2011

Where shall wisdom be found? What is wisdom? Is wisdom more than clever people or scholarship? If so, how is wisdom different from learning and cleverness?

The discoveries that clever people make are often ephemeral: things need to be rethought as time goes by. Wisdom in contrast is concerned with eternal truths: truths that transcend particular times and places and paradigms.

Learning and cleverness are no guide to how to live. Clever people can be unwise and immoral. Wisdom in contrast is linked to goodness; if you want to become wise, you also need to become a good person: the paths to goodness and wisdom go side by side. In contrast to cleverness, wisdom has moral implications for how to live.

Wisdom knows its limitations. Clever people are inclined to be arrogant; the human intellect operates on the assumption that it can get to the bottom of things. But wisdom is probing at a deeper level where there are no easy answers. It ponders, for example, the ‘unfairness’ of life. Cleverness always assumes it can get on top of things; wisdom admits there are some things it will never understands. It grows deeper by pondering unfathomable mysteries…