Civil War veteran, journalist and humorist Ambrose Bierce once penned that “Wit is the salt with which the American humorist spoils his intellectual cookery by leaving it out.” The cleverness of the remark might escape some people until they rework the phrase “leaving it out” as refraining from making a witty or wise comment. Suddenly the phrase livens up the humor with an amusing point of view. Wisdom is like that, giving us pause to think, to re-think, and to better appreciate what we say and what we mean.
Definitions and synonyms for wisdom are one thing, but the better ones stand out from the boring clichés to refresh our spirits and smiles. Let’s get past some boring bromides about gathering experience and knowledge and then using them with principles aka good judgement. We just might become better off for considering fabulous turns of a phrase that portray concepts which send us outdoors with willpower and a sense of renewed purpose.
Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing just that.
Winston Churchill observed that “We are happier in many ways when we are old than when we were young. The young sow wild oats. The old grow sage [ED: sage is a plant that promotes sagacity, smarts/wisdom. You eat it alone or in salads, or drink it as a tea].”
Read on for a catalog of synonyms that might make you smarter:
… Clear thinking
According to a LiveScience article, wisdom is a rare, measureable quality of emotional development driven by experience.
Consider this, Leeds University, a bastion of the United Kingdom’s accumulated scientific wisdom, recently banned the use of the word “Don’t” in capital letters, as in “DON’T.” The answer why is in this Metro UK report and in the article University lecturers told DON’T USE CAPS as it frightens students.
Political correctness has its limits. As one person remarked, ” Blind or vision disabled, it doesn’t matter what you call me I still can’t see.”
Wisdom, as you now realize, is about being able to discern what works from what obstructs progress.