Sunday, October 7, 2012

W: Wit and wisdom

"Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure."

Having knowledge is not enough. Reading and memorising and understanding thousands of books may be  one of  the key to intelligence. But  knowing where and when to use  that knowledge that makes a person  wise. 

What measures intelligence, though? I don't think I.Q tests and other psychological tests can measure intelligence accurately. 

Someone quite wise had once said that the true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. I don't think that's true . Imagination cannot exist without knowledge.  Ignorance can never fertile ground for an imagination to grow.  I think it's a combination of both knowledge and imagination. What it knowledge if you can't use to well? If you can't create something worthwhile with it?

Wisdom apparently 'often requires control of one's emotional reactions'. I dont know about that as I am not paritcularly wise. Nor do I personally know anyone who  is wise at all times. But people around me do have what  they call 'moments of wisdom'. 

What do they mean when they say someone is wise beyond her years? What has age got to do with wisdom? Probably nothing. Except for the fact that age is supposed to bring with it the wisdom of experience. But sometimes it does not. And sometimes, even the young like us show wisdom; not expected from us. Sometimes that wisdom is discarded. 

One is not born wise. Wisdom is acquired. Likewise it can't be spotted easily. 

Intelligence on the other hand is more easily catagorised and pinned down. Psychologists claim it can be measured. I would rather it was not. Because intelligence is of different kinds. And should not be compared. 

Wit, on the other hand is a different thing altogether  I  admire anyone's ability to say funny yet clever remarks. Here too, knowledge plays a part. A  knowledgeable person will be able to play with words. Will be able to twist them  and use them to his advantage. Will be able to sound more knowledgeable than he is. And that is  a skill worth admiring. To be able to say what you want to and to be appreciated for it is an art. I would treasure it. 

But the person I would treasure the most is the one who has the knowledge and is willing to share  it. That's why teachers deserve all the respect and love they get and more. 


  1. I beg to differ you on this one. Imagination always is independent of knowledge. The simplest example would be a child... Think about that... I know you will figure out the rest...

    1. I feel there is no use of imagination without knowledge. Even though it may be independent.