Wisdom comes from experiential doing.
Via WordPress I came across a video of a nine-year-old child offering their insights on deep questions relating to the universe. Everyone was commenting how wise this child was, and indeed his insights are good. The video reminded me of the insights on what it means to be happy by another nine-year-old via WordPress.
What is wisdom? Wisdom is obtained through experiential doing. You won’t find wisdom reading a book, or watching television, or updating Facebook, those are spectator activities that offer knowledge rather than wisdom. You can study the chemistry of an apple, but until you bite the apple you will gain no wisdom of the apple. In life you have to be the actor on stage rather than the spectator in the audience to obtain wisdom.
Children are always involved in experiential activity, they are building up a huge amount of wisdom through their daily play. The adult favours mostly routine and spectator activities which whilst their knowledge rises, their gain in wisdom is limited, and perhaps even falls through forgetfulness.
Leonardo da Vinci said:
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
Because of his childhood poverty da Vinci never had a university education, he was treated with contempt by scholars, but they forgot that their knowledge was useless unless it was applied through the doing, da Vinci was a doer, and history stands in awe of his accomplishments.
The apparent connection of age with wisdom is a myth for the adult has the advantage over the child only of the number of years of opportunity to accumulate wisdom from experiential doing, whilst the child has been eating up wisdom through quality doing every day of their childhood, by the age of nine they are sometimes glowing with wisdom. In addition the modern adult is stupider than their ancestors thanks to the modern technology that reduces them to spectators rather than doers.