Turn knowledge into wisdom

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Paul Sikora
  • 92nd Air Refueling Wing command chief
Our human fabric is woven with the desire to learn and understand. Our minds set us apart from animals ... We analyze, discuss, theorize, conceptualize and debate everything from religion to science. We build schools, institutes and universities where teachers and professors can teach us about the world and life. The pursuit of knowledge has become part of our lives.

Knowledge is good, but there is a wide chasm between knowing the facts and applying those facts to life. We can go to school forever but without wisdom the benefits of our education is limited. Life offers us experiences and learning opportunities that shape our views and values, and the lens through which we examine situations. The old saying about knowing then what we know now testifies to understanding we have learned from a life experience.

The key to wisdom is acting on the knowledge. Simple enough, right? Not. We all know drinking and driving don't mix but we still have DUIs. The fact is, individuals make decisions knowing those decisions are wrong all the time. On various levels, we all are guilty of not acting on what we know. And I'm as guilty as the next person.

Oversimplified? Yes. And make no mistake - the act of transferring our knowledge into daily wisdom can be daunting. But we cannot stop seeking wisdom, and we need to continue expanding our level of knowledge. Apply knowledge and self discipline in your daily situation, and people may one day call you wise.

If our human fabric is woven to learn and understand, the thread that binds the quilt of our society and nation is wisdom.

(Editor's Note: This is part three of a three-part series on education.)