A Lesson In Wisdom

Clint Morgan

During my college years, I learned the difference between knowledge and wisdom.

My lesson wasn’t based on the definition a friend offered me. He enlightened me by saying “knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, not a vegetable; wisdom is knowing to not put it in a fruit salad.” I like that, but there is a deeper meaning.

During my first three years at Welch, then known as FWBBC, I was not a star student. Two major objectives shaped those years: have and maintain a C-average to not get drafted. My senior year I married, so the dynamics were different and I actually made all As and Bs.

In one of my earlier escapades “left of center of the rule book,” I received a nugget of wisdom that altered, for the good, my perspective of the college, my place in that particular structure, and life in general.

Admittedly, I had broken a school rule, and soon thereafter I sat before the discipline committee. The committee was made up of the dean of students, dean of men, student body president, and a faculty member. Not a moment of time before that group could one call enjoyable.

Dr. Charles Thigpen, dean of men at that time, was notorious for shooting stinging verbal arrows of warning at those who strayed from the straight and narrow. On that particular occasion, he was in fine form and he struck with pinpoint accuracy: “Mr. Morgan when you violate the rules of this society, you forfeit your right to move freely within this society.”

I’m not sure why this had such a powerful impact on me, other than for the first time I understood the direct correlation between behavior, punishment, and freedom to enjoy my college years.

I had gained knowledge in the classroom, but I needed wisdom to bridge the gap between knowledge, behavior, and consequences.

Knowledge is a great possession, but wisdom is a true treasure.

Proverbs 3:13-15—Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

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