Quotes Challenge #1

I have been tagged to complete the quotes challenge! Thank you to At Milliways with a Pen for tagging me. So the rules are as follows:

  • Post on three consecutive days.
  • Post one to three quotes per day.
  • Challenge three different bloggers each day.

I can tell you right now that I’m going to break the first rule because I don’t post on consecutive days, but anyway, I’ll complete the challenge here and in my next two posts. Here’s my first quote:

Intellect is not wisdom.

—Thomas Sowell, American economist

Short and sweet, but it says so much. They often say that children have wisdom. They know what truly matters in life: family, fun, love, excitement, seeing old things in new ways. They have yet to get bogged down in taxes, work, the fear of death, and all the other mundane stuff that comes with adulthood. But you can’t call a child an intellectual. Yes, there is the occasional child prodigy, but here I’m talking about your average child.

There’s also the kind of wisdom that comes with experience (not necessarily age). These kind of wise people may not have gone to college, they may have only worked in blue-collar jobs, and they may not have traveled outside of their home state. But they know what life is all about. They’ve been there and done it, and they tend to get passed over and looked down on because they can’t speak and write as coherently as everyone else.

But intellect is another beast. The first thing I thought of when I saw the word “intellect” was the stereotypical college professor, with a PhD in some obscure branch of the humanities, holed up in his ivory tower, writing the next great tome that would be incomprehensible to the average reader. This guy’s chock-full of intellect, but he might not have a shred of wisdom. He gained all his learning from books and none from the real world. People tend to believe and agree with what they hear from this person because he’s gone to school and he knows a lot of facts, but wisdom is using those facts with prudence and common sense. Intellect might involve so many convolutions of logic that the humanity gets lost.

However, it is possible to have both intellect and wisdom, but those people are rare. (I also checked Google, which lists wisdom as a synonym for intellect, but when I checked my hard copy thesaurus, the two were not listed as synonyms for each other. Strange.)

My three nominees for today are…

If you don’t want to participate in the challenge, you certainly don’t have to. Or if you want to pass your nomination to someone else, that’s OK, too.

3 thoughts on “Quotes Challenge #1

  1. Thanks for tagging me. I’ll definitely participate, although, like you, not on consecutive days.

    I think it’s right to differentiate between intellect and wisdom. It reminds me of the way my father used to say that there was intelligence and “smarts” — also two different things. And, of course, smarts aren’t wisdom either.

    Human brains certainly do a lot of different things. 🙂


Comments are closed.