British journalist Miles Kington is credited with coining the phrase, “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad. This quote has been peppered lightly throughout our modern culture, but it has a much deeper meaning than just being the cool new slogan being touted around social media. It gives us pause to think about the real difference between knowledge and wisdom and how they are intertwined to ultimately help make us better people.
This quote is applicable to everyone since it points to the importance of not only knowledge, but also of knowing what to do with that knowledge by being able to apply said knowledge. One can acquire knowledge relatively easily, but knowing how to use that knowledge in the proper setting and context is another thing entirely. Furthermore, experience plays a role in developing wisdom. For example, one may be smart enough to know the scientific fact that a tomato is a fruit. Logically, it would follow that placing a tomato in a fruit salad would be acceptable. However, once one placed the tomato in the fruit salad and took a bite, the mistake in that culinary decision would be most evidenced. As a result, one would never make the mistake of placing a tomato in a fruit salad again. Hence, the wisdom to know better is gained through the experience of having done it in the first place.
No matter how much knowledge one possesses, without wisdom that knowledge may not mean very much. One has to have some life experiences in order to fully utilize one’s knowledge. Knowledge provides us with the clarity and understanding of the facts whereas wisdom provides the practicality for using that knowledge and helping us make good decisions.