Intelligent but not Wise? Then You Are Failing

Intelligence is solving problems, making observations, learning and being aware of your surroundings.  Wisdom is being aware of self, knowing right from wrong, morality, avoiding mistakes, predicting future & being strong. When we try to strike the demarcation as “wisdom v/s intelligence” we will find a lot of relevant content on the internet.

Wise people are more likely to be happy. They are balanced, resourceful and good friends.  Intelligent people may be happy but they may not be organized, justified and judgemental. They read, relate, listen & think but they may be evil.  As you know some evil people are very harmful to society but they are very intelligent. They know how to handle all types of sophisticated weapons, they can drive and repairs all types of vehicles. But that is a counter view with wisdom. Wisdom is more to do with behavioral attributes. Wisdom is the sense to act with maturity and cleverness at the same time to handle day to day situations in life. Wisdom is more of a positive word in ensuring the cognitive development of human tendencies in social culture.

There has been much talk on the topic of wisdom v/s intelligence in historical references too. From the Buddhist perspective, wisdom is ideal virtue.  All virtues are just typed wisdom including intelligence. Wisdom also includes kindness, courage, and so on. Some key points to note on the subject are as follows:

  • Intelligence is the ability to solve a problem that you chose to solve or that you are forced to solve. Wisdom is choosing the right problem to solve in the first place or refusing to solve the one chosen for you.
  • Intelligence can be learned via books, experience & it evaluates with passage of time, while wisdom is God gifted. It is not that thing that can be learned.  Even a child can be wiser than a matured person.
  • Intelligence is next stage of knowledge while wisdom is the final stage. Intelligent person rules over the world while wiser person rules over history.

Intelligence and Wisdom are two qualities that are attached to the mental capabilities and skills of human beings.  Both terms have somewhat similar meaning but they differ in the context of use.  There are many points that create a difference between these similar terms.  The main difference between intelligence & wisdom is that intelligence means implementing the gained knowledge wisely & perfectly. It can be learned by gaining more experience in a field while wisdom is something that has to be inculcated in your behavior.

If we talk in the context of age, even a child can be wiser than an adult or mature person. Therefore, wisdom is a more liquidated concept than age.

Let us conclude the topic of wisdom v/s intelligence by addressing them separately as their inherent meaning:

Intelligence is subjective. You are a mathematician, physician or maybe an expert analytical researcher- you have gained intelligence on the subject. Even a gardener is intelligent at gardening. Intelligence is a skill that you can acquire. “Artifical intelligence”- for that matter can never be called “artificial wisdom”.

Wisdom, on the other hand, is either inherited or learned through experiences. You can illiterate and wise. Wisdom is more than knowing. It is about understanding the perspectives and being able to act accordingly.