What is Wisdom?
If one asks the majority of people what the word wisdom means, most will answer vaguely that it is the knowledge gained during a lifetime. However, wisdom is much more than just knowledge gained; it signifies the accumulation of knowledge, the application of learning, and the personification of God's will in the creation of the universe (according to the American Heritage Dictionary, 6th ed.).
The abstract nature of the word wisdom allows for broad interpretation of its context. To limit the vagueness of the definition, many interpret wisdom as the accumulation of knowledge. In Greek mythology, the goddess Athena was known for her wisdom. Additionally, the personification of animals as possessing wisdom also heavily influenced Greek lore. Owls, for example, are synonymous with wisdom; likewise, foxes, with their cunning nature and ability to outsmart their prey, are considered insightful animals. Age plays a prominent part in the accumulation of learning. In many societies the elderly receive top status as preservers of both culture and knowledge, making them wise and respected members of the community. On a different level, teeth are described as being "wise"; however, these teeth actually do not differ from the rest of the secondary molars except for their tardiness.
Just as the accumulation of knowledge is a part of wisdom, so is the application of learning. The ancient Greeks believed that logos, or reason and thought, led to sophia, or wisdom. These early lovers of wisdom, or philosophers, sought knowledge and attempted to apply it to solving the puzzles of the universe. Further, philosophers such as Aristotle believed that wisdom was necessary to make judgments which coincide with one's understanding of life....