…will be conducted by authorized demonstration only!

Knowledge is the awareness of facts and figures.
Wisdom is all about how facts and figures are applied.

Josh hadn’t planned on a career as an educator. However, when he got a chance to impart knowledge about high desert birds of prey to middle schoolers at a summer camp, he jumped at it.

Part of his job is to show these tween-agers how predator birds consume their food. For example, a Great Horned Owl, with a snap and a gulp, will swallow a mouse whole. By contrast, a Redtail Hawk vigorously shakes its future meal until it’s in more delicate, bite-size pieces.

On the day of this wisdom acquisition, Josh was conducting an outside demonstration of the hawk’s eating habits to an audience of rapt fifth graders. Rapid-fire questions were slinging back and forth between students and teacher.

He offered the Redtail perched on his arm a large chunk of former mouse. The hawk…

…an enthusiastic eater, snapped at the tasty morsel, flinging the remains in all directions.

Then, several things happened at the same time.

First, one of the students posed a simple question.

Next, Josh opened his mouth to answer that question.

Third, the hawk lost his grip on a chunk of mouse guts.

And fourth, with impeccable timing, Josh found himself with a mouth full of tiny intestines.

That was Josh’s moment of wisdom. In that instant, Josh understood, with absolute clarity, that he would never, ever feed a gob of mouse to a Redtail Hawk with his mouth open again–a simple fact that will be useful to him for the remainder of his life.

As the bits of mouse innards landed in their surprise destination, Josh treated his young audience to a facial expression they’d likely never seen on an adult. Then, he turned his head and unintentionally introduced his audience to the mysteries of high-octane spitting and THAT was when his pre-teen audience was introduced to the shock and awe of industrial-strength spitting, wisdom that would not soon be lost on impressionable youngsters.

In two brief moments, while not intended, wisdom was acquired about exactly when to keep your mouth shut and a visceral example of what can happen when you don’t was on full display.

When one looks, knowledge is everywhere around us. However, wisdom to use that knowledge doesn’t always arrive in moments heralded by blaring trumpets, shaking earth or flashing signs. Sometimes it slips into our lives with a slight shudder.

Sleep well, with this new-found knowledge, we’ll talk again….

 

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