Knowing is not enough, but I think we’re all victims of information. Drinking my morning café con léche I was scrolling through my social media feeds the other morning, and felt dumber after the experience. You know what I mean?
We live in the information age, where literally everything is accessible to us. We can type in a question and find answers in seconds, find tutorials on any craft or trait, learn software and programs online that used to cost thousands of dollars to take inside a classroom. The options are ridiculously endless. However we all know that not all information is valid, true and helpful.
Elizabeth Gilbert, author or Eat Pray Love & Big Magic, once said “I don’t want more information, I want wisdom.” Whatever you learn, good or bad, true or false, you will never know if it works for you, or if it has any use to you, until you actually do it . . . that experience many consider “wisdom.” When we apply knowledge, and gain a personal educational experience, is when we gain wisdom.
I sat down at Nova Southeastern in the early 2000’s to listen to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, he shared stories of the horror, wars and tragedies he’s experienced in Africa, but each story he shared, he had a sense of peace to him that is hard to explain with words.
He shared one story about a refugee terrorist group that infiltrated a village and destroyed not only the village itself but the loving spirit that once existed it in. Understanding Grace through his faith, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, stepped out in spiritual leadership, and took it upon himself to spend time with the refugee terrorist group at their camp, to change their perspective on recent events, in hopes to prevent this from happening again.
(Walking into a terrorist groups camp?!?! Scary $H%T! Dude is nuts right?)
With time, patience and a whole lot of love, Archbishop Desmond tutu, not only prevented them from committing terrorist acts again but was able to have the whole refugee terrorist group, travel back to the village they once destroyed to publicly and personally apologize, and . . . help them rebuild the entire village. WOW!
The crowd was in awe, they applauded, some even stood up, and Desmond Tutu reached his arms out to the crowd, with his palms facing them, signally them to stop, simultaneously shaking his head in disagreement, “he said no, praising me is not the point” He explained “The reason I went into the refugee camp, was because haven’t we all mistreated others, because we’ve been mistreated . . . destroyed their spirit, because of our own personal spiritual conflicts, haven’t we all committed injustice to justify our own anger and pain with God?
The crowd sat in silence, many meditating on his words. He closed his story, by saying “I wouldn’t have seen their pain, if I didn’t experience pain of my own, I wouldn’t have had grace on them, if God didn’t have grace on me” Arch Bishop shares his story (information) about his bad experiences, pain and struggles, and how he used it to not only rebuild a village but to the change the hearts of their enemies . . . That is what you call wisdom. Using life experiences and applying them to life.
Because, “Wisdom is the application of knowledge”