Author, advocate, and survivor Sufi Laghari, whose portrait is featured in Portraits of Resilience at Phillips@THEARC (on view through July 29), shares an excerpt from his book, Glimpses of the Beloved.
It is very important to understand which part of life knowledge, wisdom and talent comes from.
Whatever we read or learn increases our knowledge. As Aristotle says, “All human beings, by nature, desire to know.”
Benjamin Disraeli was a British statesman, politician, and served twice as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He wrote “To be conscious that you are ignorant of the facts is a great step to knowledge.” We should work tirelessly to get rid our ignorance. We shouldn’t be proud of our ignorance, for this lack of awareness would lead us to darkness and all our efforts would be in vain. This beautiful quote by Confucius further clarifies my point. “When you know a thing, to hold that you know it, and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it—this is knowledge.”
What is wisdom? As Khalil Gibran writes, “Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself,” so wisdom will remain wisdom as long as it is consonant with nature and has love for humanity. Mahatma Buddha says, “Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk through the maze of human life one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.”
Confucius said, “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First by reflection, which is noblest; Second by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” As one wise man said, “When we get knowledge after learning very hard and bitter experience gives one wisdom; nature will bestow upon us talent.” If I try to summarize wisdom of all wise men I have quoted: knowledge comes from learning, wisdom from experiences, and talent by nature.
Knowledge, wisdom, and talent have equally contributed to the development of the world. Scientists, philosophers, lawyers, poets, teachers, thinkers, statesmen, scholars, and prophets have all contributed equally.