quotations about wisdom
Folly is like the growth of weeds, always luxurious and spontaneous; wisdom, like flowers, requires cultivation.
HOSEA BALLOU, Edge-Tools of Speech
A whetstone is no carving instrument,
And yet it maketh sharp the carving tool;
And if you see my efforts wrongly spent,
Eschew that course and learn out of my school;
For thus the wise may profit by the fool,
And edge his wit, and grow more keen and wary,
For wisdom shines opposed to its contrary.
GEOFFREY CHAUCER, Troilus and Cressida
He's a Fool that cannot conceal his Wisdom.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1745
It is not hoary hairs that bring wisdom; some have an old head on young shoulders.
MENANDER, attributed, Day's Collacon
Beware of a leader who doesn't have scars or walk with a limp. One of the characteristics of a great leader is wisdom, and the best way to get wisdom is through experience. Normally that experience includes a few failures -- that's where battle scars and limps come from.
INGAR GREV, "Here's why companies don't want to hire people over the age of 40", The Business Journals, January 26, 2016
Wisdom is less about academic intelligence, cognitive abilities or analytical skills, although these can help significantly. Instead, wisdom refers to the ability to see the "big picture" and translate one's experience and knowledge into good judgment and decisions.
DAVID CHAN, "Why it's not enough for leaders to just be clever", Straits Times, February 6, 2016
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, wisdom is the "Capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct" and "sound judgement". My goodness, think if wisdom were a modern concept, regularly practiced, how much less shocking news we would have every day! If only celebrities didn't make such silly displays of themselves on late-night television shows; if tourists didn't insist on taking naked selfies on sacred mountains; if Justin Bieber could only behave like a sensible young man; if politicians were once again filled with serious integrity. Then our lives would not be spinning out of control with nonsense. What if Donald Trump had the wisdom to keep his mouth shut? What if scientists realize that just because they can create robot soldiers doesn't mean they should?
DOROTHY TURCOTTE, "The world in 2016 could use a little more wisdom", Niagara This Week, January 12, 2016
Wisdom, in biblical terms, is not simply the accumulation of information. Rather, it encompasses the practical knowledge of how to regulate one's relationship with God, prudence in dealing with others, judiciousness in the handling of circumstances and skill or expertise in the application of knowledge to the diverse areas of life. Wisdom is such an important theme in Scripture that in the book of Proverbs the very voice of God is personified as wisdom, and Christ himself, in Paul's letters, is described as the one in whom are hid all treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
NOT ASHAMED, "Wisdom and government", Christian Concern, January 27, 2016
Wisdom and folly are equal before the face of Infinity, for Infinity knows them not.
LEONID ANDREYEV, "Lazarus"
The most exquisite Folly is made of Wisdom spun too fine.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1746
Wisdom is often counted folly by the unwise.
EDWARD COUNSEL, Maxims
Cunning is seeing a hundred yards ahead--wisdom, fifty miles in advance.
CHARLES WILLIAM DAY, The Maxims, Experiences, and Observations of Agogos
Be wise before the storm.
EDWARD COUNSEL, Maxims
Wisdom is an endless tower. Who but One hath ever attained the summit?
EDWARD COUNSEL, Maxims
Was not this ... what we spoke of as the great advantage of wisdom -- to know what is known and what is unknown to us?
Knowledge is learning something new every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day.
For such is the nature of men, that howsoever they may acknowledge many others to be more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned, yet they will hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves, for they see their own wit at hand, and other men's at a distance. But this proveth rather that men are in that point equal, than unequal. For there is not ordinarily a greater sign of the equal distribution of any thing than that every man is contented with his share.
THOMAS HOBBES, Leviathan
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
WILLIAM JAMES, Principles of Psychology
Wisdom is of God; folly is of men.
CHARLES HAMMOND, Light From the Spirit World
The man of wisdom is the man of years.
EDWARD YOUNG, Night Thoughts