Wise Chatting with the Wise

This is a first attempt at conversation across the ages. It is a common enough theme drawn from only a few thousand jewels of wisdom, some very common knowledge, some, well, obscure. Such conversations exist in the cultural air we breathe. It is up to each of us to tune our ears and voices to harmony, discord, or sometimes the kind of discord that is strange harmony in disguise…

…wisdom begins in silence. – Robert Lawrence Smith, A QUAKER BOOK OF WISDOM


It is not wisdom to be only wise. – George Santayana, O WORLD, THOU CHOOSEST NOT


To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe. – Marilyn Vos Savant


If wisdom in the knowledge of the created world is lovely, how lovely is the wisdom which has created all things from nothing. – Anselm of Canterbury


…it is a great mistake to suppose that knowledge of itself brings understanding, still less wisdom. – A.J.P. Taylor, DEMOCRACY AND DIPLOMACY


Knowledge is power, but wisdom is strength. – Proctor Charlie


What is strength without a double share of wisdom… – John Milton, SAMSON AGONISTES


…while the wisdom of Man thinks it is working one thing, the wisdom of Nature constrains it to work another, and quite a different and far better thing. – Edwin A. Abbott, FLATLAND, A ROMANCE OF MANY DIMENSIONS


The beginning of understanding is when, after asking why, we become silent. – Robert Lawrence Smith, A QUAKER BOOK OF WISDOM


…Wisdom’s self oft seeks to sweet retired solitude, Where, with her best nurse Contemplation, She plumes her feathers, and lets grow her wings. – John Milton, COMUS


Knowledge is proud that he has learned so much; wisdom is humble that he knows no more. – William Cowper, THE WINTER WALK AT NOON


I discover wisdom in exposing our common errors. – Proctor Charlie


The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. – Ralph Waldo Emerson, ESSAYS AND ENGLISH TRAITS


What’s wisdom itself but table-talk? – Herman Melville, THE CONFIDENCE MAN


Wisdom sends us to childhood. – Blaise Pascal, PENSEES


The bearing and training of a child is woman’s wisdom. – Alfred Lord Tennyson


I have met fools and idiots, and they are happy in their idiocy, even with straw in their hair. – Neil Gaiman, TRIGGER WARNING


…oft we see cold wisdom waiting on superfluous folly. – William Shakespeare, ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL


…don’t go searching for a mermaid… If you don’t know how to swim – Shel Silverstein, THE MERMAID


It is not the folly of the man which brings about [his] fall, it is his wisdom. – G.K. Chesterton, HERETICS


Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise. – Samuel Johnson


…the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. – The Apostle Paul, FIRST LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS


If only you would keep quiet, it would be a sign of wisdom! – The Prophet Job


The amity that wisdom knits not, folly may easily untie. – William Shakespeare, TROILUS AND CRESSIDA


Where is the wisdom we’ve lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we’ve lost in information? – T.S. Eliot


Wisdom comes not by getting it right, but rather from getting it wrong enough times. – Proctor Charlie


…wisdom can be painful. – Neil Gaiman, TRIGGER WARNING


…with much wisdom comes much sorrow – The Teacher, ECCLESIASTES


Is not the love of Wisdom a practice of death? – Plato


The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; – The Preacher, PROVERBS


Fear is a bad counselor. – Count Nikolaus Szecsen von Temerin


…fear sometimes is wisdom… – Barbara W. Tuchman. THE GUNS OF AUGUST


The brave man’s folly — that is life’s wisdom. – Maxim Gorky


O God, give us the serenity to accept what cannot be changed, the courage to change what can be changed, and the wisdom to know the one from the other. – Reinhold Niebuhr


It isn’t often that we get to use the same words of wisdom more than once. – Doug Murren


…wisdom is in truth worth nothing. – Plato, THE APOLOGY OF SOCRATES

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