Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
–T.S. Eliot (The Rock)
Are we lost in information technology? We are blessed to live in an age of unlimited information at our fingertips. We all have the capacity to be connected anytime, anywhere anyplace. Has this made us better citizens and better people? Are we smarter, more fulfilled and happier now that information technologies run our lives?
I say no. That is because it has become less of a useful tool, than an obsession, a distraction. Everyday, people are hit by cars while engaged in their information devices, failing to pay attention to their environment. That points to a lack of wisdom, bordering on stupidity.
Knowledge derived from information, must be useful and practical, where it will make our lives better and helps us to expand and express ourselves. Knowledge as recreation and distraction reduces us to consumers, machines run by and filled with information that is, (at best) of marginal use.
Due to knowledge that leads to no wisdom, we have lost the capacity to discern and transform into practice what is really needed, to be independent, productive, self-actualized thinkers and doers; Personal Wisdom. That is personal wisdom as derived from rich experiences, filled with meaning, not droning information machines.
When was the last time you took a day off from information technology? When was the last time you physically (non cyber) connected to a person, or nature, a higher power or your emotional and spiritual self? Beware the tool becomes the master. We are what we pay attention to.