Columnist Tim Connor asks, if your knowledge does not give you wisdom, why bother?

The world is in an age of information explosion. Everywhere you look there is new information or knowledge being learned, created or rediscovered: in medicine, communications, transportation, science, literature - the list goes on. One would think that with all of this information readily available in nanoseconds or at the touch of a button, life would be easier and better. In some cases it is, but in others it is creating more stress, negatively impacting relationships, and often occupying hours of our time in search of better, faster and more.

Knowledge is a good thing if it is necessary, useful and it is used. During the past few years I have been observing and listening to a variety of people - friends, clients, peers and relatives - and the message seem to be the same. There is too much information and change and very little time to think, feel, relax, enjoy and learn.

There is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge to me means having access in my mind to information that I have been exposed to that can contribute positively to some aspect of my life. Wisdom is knowing what is important out of what I have learned or been exposed to, knowing when and how to use this information, and using it. Many people today are amassing large amounts of knowledge, but they seem to be lacking in their ability to select what is important and to use it appropriately.

The other thing I have noticed is that the knowledge we once had in the past, that which was true for us at that time in our life, is either no longer true for us or no longer valuable. I submit that being able to do division problems in high school was a valuable skill. Now the ability to use a calculator can save time, reduce calculation errors and give us time for other stuff.

You see, all of this time saving due to technology is giving us the opportunity to learn even more. But at what price? Time to learn more? And time to spend time learning more? (Repeated intentionally.) I am all for the benefits of technology, learning more and faster access to better information; but, I am also for time to consider, time to evaluate, and time to determine what items out of what I have learned should be retained and used and what should be released and forgotten.

I am not advocating a revolution against technology, information or the amassing of huge amounts of knowledge. I am, however, suggesting that if your knowledge does not give you wisdom, why bother?