Wisdom – What It Really Is?

Today I want to talk about wisdom. Yes, you read well. I got this idea while talking to a friend on my birthday. I said that I am not getting older, I am getting wiser. And he asked me, what does it mean to be wiser? So I asked that question to myself.

Being wiser means taking better decisions, to be in peace with yourself? To get to understand the others better?

I will first give you the definition of this word from the Romanian DEX (states for Dicţionar Explicativ – Explanatory Dictionary), as follows:

Wisdom *

Superior ability of understanding and judging of things. ♦ Temperance, prudence, moderation determined by experience; Capacity of foresight – Etymology: Lat. intellectio, -onis.*

Now let us check also the English definition of it from the oxford dictionary:

Wisdom **

  1. The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise. Ex: ‘listen to his words of wisdom’
  2.  The fact of being based on sensible or wise thinking. Ex: ‘some questioned the wisdom of building the dam so close to an active volcano’
  3. The body of knowledge and experience that develops within a specified society or period. Ex: ‘Eastern wisdom’

And last but not least, let’s also take the definition in Spanish:

Wisdom ***

  1. The highest degree of knowledge.
  2. Prudent behaviour in life or in business
  3. Profound knowledge in science, letters or arts

I couldn’t help but notice the difference between the three definitions. As you can see, in Romanian the word defines exclusively the facts of the soul. Being tempered, not being proud, paying attention to what is around you, being calm and balanced. Reading that definition, my mind is taken to someone like Budha, Dalai Lama, Thales or Solon.

The same goes with Spanish, except that it adds another a bit wider meaning. The highest degree of knowledge might mean the fact that one knows everything regarding a subject, a person who holds the absolute truth about it. So it is a definition in terms of knowledge more than feelings and spiritual elevation.

On the other side, in English, the definition is a wider than the two above. Beside the ones also present in Romanian and Spanish, it refers also to the knowledge about more physical things, like the experience and set of information that is acquired in a specific society or period. Looking at the second definition: The fact of being based on sensible or wise thinking. Ex: ‘some questioned the wisdom of building the dam so close to an active volcano’, I sense that it goes even where wisdom represents the process of decision making. Like I have the wisdom of building the dam next to the volcano based on my life experience and my feelings instead of I have taken the decision of building the dam next to the volcano based on same analysis that were made in the last month for this project. It might be just me seeing the difference, or it really might be one?

Analysing the above, my personal opinion is that wisdom is a notion that is understood in a certain way by each nation, according to their set of principles and ways of living. My definition of wisdom would be ‘A way of thinking concerning the evolution of spirit. The ability of holding the key to happiness and being above material objects. Lack of attachment over things other than human. Capacity of discovering the solution for suffering.’

Some of you might disagree, which is normal. Cause each of you see the world different and no one could blame you. It is your choice if you want to believe the moon is yellow and the sun is silver. 🙂

And in the end, one of my favourite quotes regarding wisdom:

The defeat of the fear is the beginning of wisdom –

Bertrand Russell


  • https://dexonline.ro/definitie/înțelepciune *
  • https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/wisdom **
  • https://educalingo.com/es/dic-es/sabiduria ***
  • Photo Source: https://www.tlnt.com/hiring-wisdom/

© picnicontheshelf, January 27, 2019

One Comment

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