There is no wisdom without love. – Sri Ram
What does that mean?
This is kind of a cryptic quote, and can be taken a number of ways. I want to focus on the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
It takes action to move from simple knowledge to wisdom. Sometime it takes a lack of action to show wisdom, such as breaking a bad habit. But what causes one to take action?
In my opinion, love is one of those reasons people take action. Not necessarily a romantic love, although it happens, but even as mild a love as caring or being interested.
In acting on their love, their knowledge becomes wisdom. Sometimes this action is seen and recognized by others. Other times the action is teaching others, which also ties back to the quote and to love.
Why is love important?
As I usually do, I use the broadest definition of love I can when considering why it is important and how it interacts with wisdom. Whether it is interest, caring, compassion, or a stronger form of love, it is still love. While love is important for many reasons, the focus of this post is how it interacts with wisdom.
Would you consider learning anything, much less things alleged to be wisdom from someone who shows no interest, no caring, no compassion, nothing at all? Why would you care? Of what interest would their thoughts be, and what would your motivation be to pay attention?
Perhaps the person has a reputation for having good information. Is that person teaching wisdom, or are they passing on knowledge? I would argue that they are doing the latter, not the former. Without any attachment to others, how can any wisdom pass on?
I believe that just the act of wanting to pass on the wisdom would require the presence of some love, right? Combining useful knowledge, love, and action, wisdom could well occur. But without some caring, interest, or even stronger forms of love, it isn’t going to be worth much.
Where can I apply this in my life?
As I began to develop this post, I realized that this is exactly what I try to do. I try to get people to think, to examine, to consider, their lives and how a particular quote might apply to them. I share my thoughts and challenge the readers to examine their lives.
Before I started the blog, I may have had the knowledge, but I obviously wasn’t taking action, and no one could tell if I cared or not. In short, there was no sign of wisdom, even if there was a flicker of knowledge seen there, from time to time.
I show that I care, have an interest, or even stronger forms of love, by my posts, both in their quality (I hope) and in their frequency. I also try to keep up with comments, and provide my thoughts in response. This is also the action, which together with love, helps elevate knowledge to wisdom.
We all have knowledge, even if it is a bit obscure. After all, how useful is knowing alternate positions for playing notes on a trombone? But if we care, and notice someone struggling to move quickly and smoothly between notes, and we give them knowledge, isn’t that wisdom?
Substitute some other skill in that example, and you see why love, or at least concern, is a necessary part. If you had no emotional bond, if there was no love at all, why would you even bother to stop and mention that there is another way, perhaps a better way?
Take a moment and consider in what aspects of your life you have accumulated knowledge? Specifically, knowledge that could help others, if you cared, and you took action. I believe we have some, it’s just a matter of how practical or how common it might be.
To someone challenged by an issue, what seems trivial to you may well prove extraordinarily useful to them. What could you share with someone that might help them in some small way? Take a moment and consider a few examples, however silly it might seem.
I realize that you will probably have a hard time ever doing these things, but the point is to get you thinking. The point is to get a couple repetitions in the books. The point is to get a little practice in, so that if a situation comes up, you can do something, even if it isn’t one you prepared today.
If you do this now, you will find it easier to do for real at a later point in time. If you don’t practice action, how will you know how, or even when to act? If you don’t care, then it really doesn’t matter. Without the love in your heart, your knowledge will only be just that.
Knowledge without action isn’t of much use. Is knowledge without compassion or love any better? It might actually be worse. What do you think?
- Gaps of Writing (asifoscope.org)
- How Should We Live: History’s Forgotten Wisdom on Love, Time, Family, Empathy, and Other Aspects of the Art of Living (rainbowglassesblog.wordpress.com)
- Wednesday Wisdom (stephsscribe.com)
- Whit Wisdom: The Difference Between “Love You” And “I Love You” (jessicasimien.com)
- Walking in Wisdom (pastorrgmccarty.wordpress.com)