Wisdom is sensitive

A weighing bridge can tell if a truck is within 10 kilograms of a particular weight.

The weighing scale in your bathroom can tell if you have lost a kilogram last week.

A scale on a kitchen counter can tell if you have a few extra grams of salt in your spoon.

A pharmacist’s scale can measure the presence or absence of a chemical in milligrams.

The difference between these instruments is sensitivity. While the weighing bridge can sense large changes in weight, a pharmacist’s scale can sense even a layer of dust.

Our life, and that of most normal people, is filled with a handful of big experiences, and numerous smaller, more mundane everyday experiences. Those who aren’t perceptive go through big experiences without learning anything from them, whereas those among us who are curious, attentive and eager to learn are sensitive to the degree that they derive useful lessons from day-to-day experience.

Wisdom is the ability to derive big lessons from small experiences.

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