Kohelet Six: Wisdom

“For what is the advantage of the wise over the fool? What [less] has the poor man who knows how to go along with the living (Ecclesiastes 6:8)?” I find myself torn by the contradictions of my reactions to this verse. On the one hand, I agree that ultimately yes, whether you live wisely or foolishly, the result of mortality is that we all end up the same. But on the other, I imagine that anyone reasonable would agree that it’s more advantageous to be wise than to be a fool. There are tremendous advantages to wisdom, both when it comes to intellectual and practical knowledge. Wisdom enables us to make our way through the world mindfully, with options, consideration, and awareness, which hopefully we tap into and utilize to our respective advantages. Wisdom, of course, can come in many different forms, and many of us have it in different ways than others around us. We need all of the different kinds of wisdom (multiple intelligences shoutout!) to make the world work, so even if someone seems foolish on the surface, dig a little deeper – maybe it’s just a more elusive form of wisdom.


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