Knowledge is a library. Endless, packed with facts and data, arranged in neat rows. It’s like a computer, mechanical, methodical. Capable of storing gigabytes, terabytes, even petabytes of information. But it’s static, immovable. Knowledge in and of itself can’t make decisions. It sits there, waits to be accessed, waits to be used.

Wisdom, now, that’s a sage. It’s human, it’s intuitive. It takes knowledge, all that data, and reads between the lines. It’s not just knowing that fire burns, it’s understanding why you shouldn’t play with matches. Wisdom digests information, metabolizes it into insight, into foresight. It pulls from the past to navigate the future.

A computer can spit out facts faster than a bullet train, but it can’t tell you what those facts mean, how to feel about them, how to use them. That’s where the human element comes in. The ability to think, to ponder, to weigh the facts and come to a decision. That’s wisdom.

Knowledge is like the ingredients in a recipe. But wisdom? Wisdom is the chef. The one who knows just when to add a pinch of this, a dash of that, and turn a pile of raw, tasteless ingredients into a gourmet meal. It takes knowledge, adds a sprinkle of experience, a dollop of intuition, and turns it into wisdom. Into something actionable, usable, something with flavor.

We are not just computers. We are humans, capable of both knowledge and wisdom. We are the librarians and the sages, the ingredient collectors and the master chefs. We are the ones who can take cold, hard data and breathe life into it, give it meaning, and transform it into wisdom.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand and Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2023 Stephen Boudreau.