I came across a quote that explains the distinction pretty well; Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing NOT to put it in a fruit salad. For those of you who don't eat salad, or who may not be a gardner, it simply means that knowledge comes from learning and wisdom comes from living. This brings up a good question, though. Can a frog (or person) be wise without being smart? The answer is yes...and no. Here's what I mean.
Knowledge is kind of like a sword. Of itself, it's not very useful. It has value, but the value increases significantly when the sword is put into the hands of a skilled swordsman. The sword, or knowledge in this case, is a tool. But what good is a tool if the person holding it doesn't know how to use it. There's no simple answer, but what is important to know, here, is that knowledge is good and useful. But wisdom can, and often is, the better skill to have. Anyone who can read, or memorize facts, can be knowledgeable, but knowing how to put those facts to good use makes you wise. I've known many wise frogs, and a few wise humans, who never attended college. On the other flipper, I've known some college-educated frogs who had no wisdom at at. It's as if everything they've ever learned just went "POOF" into thin air. Knowledge and wisdom are best when they join up and hold hands.
Knowledge without wisdom doesn't offer much value. But there cannot be wisdom without some knowledge. Even the most uneducated frog, if he's lived well and learned from his experience, can be very wise. So why am I writing about all of this you might ask? It's simple. We live in a time where gaining knowledge is easy, all one needs is internet connection. The worldwide web has provided us with vast resources for learning. There's a danger to that, however. One also needs to live and gain "street smarts." And that can't be learned from sitting in front of a computer. Be careful of who's wisdom you listen to. Anyone can spout off ideas and advice, but that advice can be harmful if's not backed up with solid experience. Before you decide to take anyone's advice (well, except maybe for mom and me) ask yourself if they walk-the-walk or, in fact, is it nothing more than cheap talk.
Book smarts are great...one can never be too smart. But you also need to mix a healthy dose of life experience into the recipe. If you don't you, too, could wind up with a fruit salad made from tomatoes! And that's just so wrong....and not very tasty!