live to contemplate, be aware, and take action

Being Intelligent yet Wise

Some of us think we’re intelligence. It may been proven in how high we scored exam, how well read we’re on different topics. And how highly regarded our profession is. Having this proof of intelligence gives us supreme confidence. So much confidence that we sometimes cannot see that there is a difference between intelligence and wisdom. It’s called the bane of being smart. When we think we’re smart we offer opinions with the conviction that it is knowledge. This encourages us to openly give sharp criticisms on people and their work, especially on the internet. When we think we’re smart we don’t see our criticisms as tearing down someone’s work or their self worth. We actually see it as.. educating the world om what it does not know. It irks smart people to see other people liking something that they think it’s stupid, so they feel the need to set things right, to show people how wrong and stupid they are for liking that thing. That’s why you see people making sharp comments that are criticisms about other people or their work. But when we criticize someone we don’t have the wisdom to realize that other people are looking at us like we are the fools here, because we sound so ignorant and entitled. We don’t know this because other fools chime in to agree with us, making us feel smart and insightful. People with wisdom understand that we are all limited by our own perspectives so there is no need to criticize even when we don’t agree. That;s why even in the role-playing game Dungeon and Dragons, wisdom and intelligence are two different abilities. Intelligence without wisdom is like walking along a very narrow, walled up lane.. all the while thinking that this narrow lane is the wide open world. This is when when we understand a little, but we think we understand a lot. Because we cannot see beyond the barriers that we have constructed for ourselves. No matter how smart we think we are, no matter how valid we think our opinion is, it is important to consider if what we are about to  say is wise. Use Socrates’s Test of Three. Ask yourself three questions:

  1. is it something true.
  2. is it something good.
  3. is it something useful.

Be wise when you speak, and be happy, always.

— Xandria Ooi

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