Wisdom refers to a quality of character or mind.  Wisdom is being able to apply knowledge, theory, and experience with insight and good judgment.  Wisdom, a deep knowledge of what is right, can be about truth or goodness.  Wisdom can also refer to the body of knowledge and experience passed on from previous generations within a culture, or across cultures, that equips one to make wise choices and live a good life.

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To know oneself as a body is more important than to read the words of all wise men who have ever lived.

— Marco Vassi

Thou art greatly wise, my friend, and ever respected by me, yet I find not in your theory or your scope, room enough for the lyric inspirations, or the mysterious whispers of life. To me it seems that it is madder never to abandon oneself, than often to be infatuated; better to be wounded, a captive, and a slave, than always to walk in armor.

— Margaret Fuller, Free Hope

The perfection of wisdom, and the end of true philosophy is to proportion our wants to our possessions, our ambitions to our capacities, we will then be a happy and a virtuous people.

— Mark Twain

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

— Mark Twain, attributed in error

I love quotations because it is a joy to find thoughts one might have, beautifully expressed with much authority by someone recognizably wiser than oneself.

— Marlene Dietrich

Knowledge is a process of piling up facts; wisdom lies in their simplification.

— Martin Fischer

Insight, I believe, refers to the depth of understanding that comes by setting experiences, yours and mine, familiar and exotic, new and old, side by side, learning by letting them speak to one another.

— Mary Catherine Bateson

We are braver and wiser because they existed, those strong women and strong men. . . We are who we are because they were who they were.

— Maya Angelou

The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.

— Maya Angelou

Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.

— Merry Browne

It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

Namaste. I honour the place in you where the entire universe resides … a place of light, of love, of truth, of peace, of wisdom. I honour the place in you where when you are in that place and I am in that place there is only one of us.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

A wise old owl sat in an oak. The more he heard, the less he spoke; The less he spoke, the more he heard. Why aren’t we all like that wise old bird?

— Mother Goose

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.

— Naguib Mahfouz

Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.

— Norman Cousins

Wisdom has taught us to be calm and meek, / To take one blow, and turn the other cheek; / It is not written what a man shall do / If the rude caitiff smite the other too!

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

Wisdom is the abstract of the past, but beauty is the promise of the future.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.

— Oprah Winfrey

Turn your wounds into wisdom.

— Oprah Winfrey

Education is the attempt to ‘lead out’ from within the self a core of wisdom that has the power to resist falsehood and live in the light of truth, not by external norms but by reasoned and reflective self-determination.

— Parker J. Palmer

Citizenship is a way of being in the world rooted in the knowledge that I am a member of a vast community of human and nonhuman beings that I depend on for essentials I could never provide for myself.

— Parker J. Palmer, Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.

— Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Mistakes are the bridge between inexperience and wisdom.

— Phyllis Theroux

The key to wisdom is this constant and frequent questioning for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth.

— Pierre Abelard

The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to the question, and by seeking we may come upon the truth.

— Pierre Abelard

It is better to be wise, and not to seem so, than to seem wise, and not be so; yet men, for the most part, desire the contrary.

— Plato

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.

— Plato

To make no mistakes is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.

— Plutarch

To make no mistake is not in the power of man; but from their errors and mistakes the wise and good learn wisdom for the future.

— Plutarch

If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow.

— Rachel Carson

I sincerely believe that for the child, and for the parent seeking to guide him, it is not half so important to know as to feel. If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow. The years of early childhood are the time to prepare the soil. Once the emotions have been aroused — a sense of the beautiful, the excitement of the new and the unknown, a feeling of sympathy, pity, admiration or love — then we wish for knowledge about the subject of our emotional response. Once found, it has lasting meaning. It is more important to pave the way for the child to want to know than to put him on a diet of facts he is not ready to assimilate.

— Rachel Carson

The wisdom of the wise is an uncommon degree of common sense.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

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 is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense.

— Robert G. Ingersoll

But goodness alone is never enough. A hard cold wisdom is required, too, for goodness to accomplish good. Goodness without wisdom invariably accomplishes evil.

— Robert Heinlein
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