In this essay I would like to reflect on the content of such concepts as “wisdom” and “reason” giving them a philosophical color. Most often in everyday life, people confuse their meaning and scope, not fully understanding their inner meaning and significance, while considering them identical concepts. Let’s think together, because to seek the truth with your own mind and comprehend wisdom are some of the greatest human desires.

I will immediately offer the following thematic anecdote for review:

  • Who are so smart and who are so wise?

–  The wise earn their living with their own minds, and the wise are those for whom the wise work.

So how is reason different from wisdom? Or why being smart and being wise are not the same thing?

Mind is a fairly broad concept that includes many other characteristics (such as intelligence or knowledge) and expresses the ability to think. In other words, an intelligent person is able to think, analyze their own actions and the actions of others and draw certain conclusions. In addition, the ability to rationally analyze, to know objectively the world around us exactly as we perceive it, is usually inherent in us at the genetic level – that is, anyone from birth is able to think. At the same time, people begin to analyze and draw concrete conclusions when they reach a certain age.

Mind and wisdom

Wisdom, in turn, is a slightly different concept. It is not given immediately after birth, but can accumulate throughout our lives. A person usually becomes wiser with the help of experience gained from certain actions. Human experience and wisdom of life are inextricably linked. There can be no wisdom without experience, because we learn from our own mistakes, analyze after the events that have happened and thus accumulate information in ourselves and next time in a similar situation we act on the basis of experience. Thus, wisdom, as opposed to the pure accumulation of knowledge through reason, comes with age, with experience. It is unacceptable to consider a wise person in his youth or adolescence, unless he has managed to make many mistakes and right actions in his life, although it is quite subjective.

Although wisdom and reason follow truth side by side, we still have a discourse about different concepts that should not be confused. Wisdom is the key to experience; mind – knowledge and to some extent intellect.

And yet, what is the primary, most important tool in the knowledge of the world – reason or wisdom? In other words, which is better: to be smart or to be wise? In my opinion, the content of this question is equivalent to the question to the child which of the parents she loves the most. But since the language is about parenting, it is better to have a smart dad and a wise mom in the family or vice versa.

To try to answer this question, consider the following situation: two friends cross a mountain river. One of them is smart – the IQ level is outrageous, the other – no. Some of them, no matter who, go first while the second waits on the shore. And no matter how smart or neat he is, there is still a chance that he will make a mistake when crossing the river, will step on the wrong stone, will not calculate the current, as it passes for the first time. But if that happens, the second companion, who was waiting on the shore, after analyzing the situation, drawing certain conclusions and learning from mistakes, will act wisely, go downstream to the bridge and cross the river without any problems. As a result of a mistake of one – the gained huge experience; therefore, both will gain wisdom and will always act wisely in the future, and more importantly, will pass on the experience gained to others.

We can draw the following conclusion: you can be just mega-smart, but still do stupid and unworthy deeds. The mind, not supported by wisdom, does not give the desired result in the knowledge of truth. But I think the best would be a harmonious combination of both reason and wisdom. Therefore, while you are young, learn the mind, and life will teach you wisdom.

At the end of the parable:
A young man meets a sage and asks him how he became so wise.
“It’s because of my smart decisions,” he replied.
– And where did you get these smart decisions?
– They appeared due to extensive experience…
– And where did your experience come from then?
– And I gained experience thanks to my stupid decisions.

Maria Chervan – a student of the University “Academy of Recreational Technologies and Law”