“Knowledge is knowing it’s a one way street. Wisdom is looking both ways anyway.”
And so, when you head out in the world and you see a “one way” sign like the one above, you have the knowledge that you are approaching a one-way street and traffic should only head in that single direction. However, wisdom is understanding that while the rule is traffic should head in that one direction, it isn’t always the case. Wisdom will tell you that there are people in this world who don’t follow those rules. Wisdom will tell you that a drunk driver might come barreling down the street in the wrong direction.
Knowledge might come from reading books or watching videos, but wisdom comes from personal observation and experience. Another great example involving traffic would be a pedestrian crosswalk. Knowledge is knowing that the pedestrian always has the right of way. Wisdom is making sure the car stops for you before you cross the street. You might be right, but I don’t have to tell you who loses when that car crashes into you. You could get seriously injured or even die, but you’d be “right.”
What’s fascinating is that wisdom might mean temporarily discarding your knowledge to explore other possibilities. After all, creativity and common sense are incompatible. If everyone tells you that it has to be a certain way, giving you that “knowledge” of convention, you may never break free of the mold to create something utterly revolutionary. Wisdom is knowing that the world is filled with infinite possibilities and everything that we “know” is little more than a best guess.
It’s a shame that the above quote is from an anonymous source, as it provides an incredible life lesson. Don’t get me wrong; you’re allowed not to know something as long as you have the motivation to learn. But you also have to recognize that simple knowledge is never really enough. Wisdom is far superior.