Fandango’s Provocative Question

Fandango is a great one for poking the old grey matter at the best of times but now he has moved on to things provocative as well and he’s posing the question: 

“What do you think is more useful: intelligence or wisdom, and why do you feel that way?”

Fandango is a great one for poking the old grey matter at the best of times but now he has moved on to things provocative as well and he’s posing the question:

“What do you think is more useful: intelligence or wisdom, and why do you feel that way?”

I’ve actually been thinking about this since I came across it yesterday which could possibly indicate that I have neither wisdom nor intelligence but I’ll attempt to answer anyway. For me, intelligence is something that, to a degree, you are born with whereas wisdom is something that you learn.

If a child is born to intelligent parents then it is more than likely that a level of intelligence will be encoded into his DNA. However, possibly more importantly, his parents are likely to understand the importance of education, developing social skills, being well read, appreciation for the arts etc. etc. Therefore, he will develop into, what society perceives as, an intelligent adult.

osho-quotes-understandOn the other hand, I think it highly unlikely that a child could be born ‘wise’. I think that this is something that is developed over time through experience. As we get older, we get a more philosophical approach to life, we attribute far less importance to things which are, in the grand scheme of things, insignificant and we generally have better control of our emotions. Our experiences, if we manage to extract something useful and positive from them, will give us the ability to advise others clearly and simply and without judgement; I suppose that this could be called wisdom?

So, after all that, which is the most useful?

For me it has to be wisdom. In my experience, intelligence can be gratifying but it often results in overthinking and over analyzing. For example, someone of very limited intelligence may be able to think of only one solution to a problem and will simply decide if it’s good or not and act upon it. However,  someone who’s extremely intelligent will spend hours and hours analyzing the problem, looking at it from all angles, playing out possible scenarios in their mind; essentially picking the problem apart before finding a solution………

That is, unless they have the wisdom to realise that it’s far more productive to spend 5 minutes thinking about the problem and the rest of the time working on a solution..

True wisdomSomeone who is intelligent will have the capability to discuss most subjects, often with great insight. They will make excellent company for someone with a like mind and will take pleasure in spending their time with people that they find intellectually stimulating. Someone who is wise will realise that they can learn an awful lot more from listening to others regardless of their intellectual capabilities; listening to and trying to understand our fellow man brings with it compassion…..

Above all that I think that wisdom, far more so than intelligence, will lead us to peace, for the individual as well as for the human race as a whole. It may take intelligence to develop machines to make life easier, to discover plots against a Nation, to build great cities, to use the natural resources available to us to make us more comfortable or more secure but it takes wisdom to know that, in the course of doing all this, we are losing our compassion for our fellow man and destroying our planet….

Lisa x


Author: All About Life

Middle-aged 20 something

23 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question”

  1. Great post. I work with academics. Very intelligent but mostly they could not find their own arse unless someone had written a paper about it…

    I initially wrote ‘wrote a paper on it’ but then figured people might think I meant actually written on their backside. Which would be both unhygienic and no fun for anyone reading it.
    Unless their proclivities ran that way of course.

    Did someone mention overthinking????

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I didn’t see this question yesterday, but I like your answer Lisa. Personally, I think that silence can be a good inducator of wusdom. I have luved in the academic world for a while (not as a high flyer I might add!) and honestly, some of them are the biggest nincompoops I ever met, with so much self importance that doorways are just not big enough for them. However, ther ARE some very WISE and kind and compassionate intelligent people. So yes, I would go for wisdom rather than intelligence!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Such a thought-provoking post and a great question, indeed. I’d agree on the difference between intelligence and wisdom and how the latter is learned, and we definitely need more wisdom in the world to work on the lack of caring towards our world and compassion towards each other. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a nice post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the topic. I like the way you think Lisa. I also would rather have wisdom, which means to have an open mind to anyones point of view rather than to have an intelligent mind that believes his judgement is worth more than anyone else’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wisdom… because wisdom is the ability to make the most of whatever you have (ability, skill, experience). I believe that intelligence is like you said, mostly innate. Without wisdom, you cannot make the most of your intelligence either… or at least that’s what I think. 🙂

    Great post! ^^

    Liked by 1 person

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