Wisdom is like electricity. There is no permanently wise man, but men
capable of wisdom, who, being put into certain company, or other favorable conditions,
become wise for a short time, as glasses rubbed acquire electric power for a while.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (180382), U.S. essayist, poet, philosopher. Society
and Solitude, "Clubs" (1870).
Comment: Perhaps it is not how long we retain the wisdom that is important but the kind of
wisdom we want to retain. PK
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Hebrew Bible. Psalms 111:10.
Comment: In a world where we can do almost anything, even cloning ourselves or rebuilding
our bodies so we can live forever we have less and less to fear. As we fear less, our
common sense wisdom disappears, and the world falls deeper into chaos.
They would need to be already wise, in order to love wisdom.
Friedrich Von Schiller (17591805), German dramatist, poet, essayist. On
the Aesthetic Education of Man, "Eighth Letter" (1795).
Comment: So people like being stupid.
Nine-tenths of wisdom consists in being wise in time.
Theodore Roosevelt (18581919), U.S. Republican (later Progressive)
politician, president. Speech, 14 June 1917, Lincoln, Nebr.
Comment: For a politician, timing can be crucial when trying to mold and shape the hearts
and minds of followers. For the rest of us, wisdom consists of always wanting to do God's
The wisdom of a learned man cometh by opportunity of leisure: and he
that hath little business shall become wise.Apocrypha. Ecclesiasticus 38:25.
Comment: When we are struggling to survive financially, physically, emotionally, or
spiritually we have little time to reflect on higher thoughts. It is when we are in the
struggle to survive that we need to yield our hearts up to God.
Does wisdom perhaps appear on the earth as a raven which is inspired by
the smell of carrion?
Friedrich Nietzsche (18441900), German philosopher. Twilight of the Idols,
"The Problem of Socrates," aph. 1 (1889).
Comment: It isn't the wisdom, it is what you do with it.
It is the province of knowledge to speak, and it is the privilege of
wisdom to listen.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (180994), U.S. writer, physician. The Poet at
the Breakfast Table, ch. 10 (1872).
Comment: If we are always talking and never listening we never learn.
Mixing ones wines may be a mistake, but old and new wisdom mix
Bertolt Brecht (18981956), German dramatist, poet. The Singer, in The
Caucasian Chalk Circle, Prologue (1944).
Comment: What we need is wisdom, regardless of its age. So many people go through life
without accumulating any wisdom of any kind. pk
Wisdom hath her excesses, and no less need of moderation than folly.
Michel de Montaigne (153392), French essayist. Essays, bk. 3, ch. 5,
"Upon some Verses of Virgil" (tr. by John Florio, 1588).
Comment: Wisdom has excesses only in the eyes of others who also think of themselves as
wise. Perhaps the greatest wisdom is found in those who do not think so much about wisdom
but who use it and live it. Pk