I’ve always wondered what the fundamental differences are of the terms knowledge, intelligence, and wisdom. I did some research and came up with my own definitions.
Knowledge is the accumulation of general information that has been learned or acquired through experiences.
Intelligence is a deep understanding or insight of how something works and the ability to apply the knowledge and analyze and solve problems.
Wisdom is the ability to discern right from wrong, truth from falsehood, and good from evil. It’s about intuition, perspective, and common sense.
We will experience many obstacles in life. Usually, our first reaction is to resist what is happening. We also want to know why it is happening. What we really need to do is focus on getting though the situation and to think positive about what we can learn from it. It’s a growing experience. We may come to find out later or we may never know. Our faith is being put to the test.
Taken at Blackwater Falls, WV
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Despite the tragedies in this world, there still exists the wonder of it all: the beauty, the aliveness, the stillness, the love, and the miracles. The miracles are what keep us in joy and in faith and bring us closer to our Creator. My hope for all is that we are conscious of and witness and experience many miracles in the coming new year and all through life.
Do you ever wish you could go back to a younger age in life? I’ve heard many people say they wish they were younger but only if they knew then what they know now. What do you know now? Have your learned from your past experiences? Experiences can sting us and teach us not to do that again or positive experiences can motivate us to keep doing what we’re doing. We learn more from our experiences than anything no matter if they’re good or bad. Experiences are our greatest teachers. Oscar Wilde wrote this great quote:
“Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward.”
Fear is the most unpleasant, distressing, painful feeling anyone can experience. Fear is caused by worry or thought of possible danger, evil, or a threat. Fears may come from personal history and/or can be learned from experiences. Wikipedia provided the top 10 types in the U.S. by a 2005 Gallup poll and Bill Tancer’s published list in 2008:
“In a 2005 Gallup poll (U.S.A.), a national sample of adolescents between the ages of 13 and 17 were asked what they feared the most. The question was open-ended and participants were able to say whatever they wanted. The top ten fears were, in order: terrorist attacks, spiders, death, being a failure, war, criminal or gang violence, being alone, the future, and nuclear war.
In an estimate of what people fear the most, book author Bill Tancer analyzed the most frequent online queries that involved the phrase, “fear of…” following the assumption that people tend to seek information on the issues that concern them the most. His top ten list of fears published 2008 consisted of flying, heights, clowns, intimacy, death, rejection, people, snakes, failure, and driving.”
By understanding and confronting your fears (also called exposure therapy), you can gain better control of your life. You have the courage to overcome your fears. Most importantly, have faith and trust in God and in yourself that everything will be all right.
So I googled sympathy vs. empathy vs. compassion to learn the differences of these three words, and the first site that came up was operationmeditation.com. Below is what was provided:
Sympathy – feeling sorry for another’s hurt
Sympathy is feeling sorry for another’s hurt or pain. There is some emotional distance with sympathy – you are not experiencing the pain for yourself, rather you are saying “Isn’t it sad that this person is having a bad time”. Sometimes sympathy can tip into pity, and that is where some caution is needed. Pity is an emotion that tends to dehumanize and belittle. Most people who have a disability or other challenges will despise being ‘pitied’ as pity strips away the rich reality of their human experience and leaves just the difficulty or disability on view. For a deeper relationship and understanding, empathy is needed.
Empathy – walking in another’s shoes
Empathy takes things a little deeper – it is the ability to experience for yourself some of the pain that the other person may be experiencing. It is an acknowledgement of our shared experience as humans and recognition that we all feel grief and loss and pain and fear. You do not need to have experienced exactly the same events as the person who is suffering but you do need to have the ability to really imagine how they must be feeling in their situation. Empathy is a vicarious experience – if your friend is feeling afraid, you too will experience a feeling of fear in your body; if they are sad, you too will feel sorrow. Feeling empathy is allowing yourself to become tuned into another person’s emotional experience. It takes courage to do this but if you have ever experienced real empathy from another when you have been hurting, you will know what a gift it can be.
Compassion – love in action
If empathy is the ability to really experience some of the feelings of pain that another person is feeling, then compassion is to translate that feeling into action. You understand that your friend is feeling worried and stressed with their aging relative in hospital, so you cook the family some dinners and take their children for an afternoon. True compassion reaches out to all people, no matter whether they are your friends or not, and even to all living creatures. It is the ability and willingness to stand alongside someone and to put their needs before your own. Living a compassionate life can be learned – it is not just something that some ‘extra-good’ people are born with. Changing habits takes persistence and practice but it is achievable through the right methods. Many of the worlds’ wisest people have stated that giving to others in life is the source of the greatest contentment and life satisfaction, so there are many personal benefits to be gained as well.