Have you had a Chicago style deep dish pizza? My family’s favorite is Lou Malnati’s, and it is on the menu every time we have out-of-town guests. No one has ever been disappointed. (Very full, but not disappointed.)
How do boring old flour, olive oil, yeast, garlic, tomatoes, spices, sausage and cheese combine into a magnificent deep dish pizza?
My husband and I make a pretty mean deep dish pizza ourselves. To do so, we start with individual ingredients. My local grocery store stocks over 700 varieties of produce and aisles full of meats, and canned, packaged, wrapped and frozen food helpfully labeled and priced. That’s information.
As a shopper and a cook, I know the identity, the taste, and (usually) the relative quality of many items in a supermarket. And I have a good recipe. That’s knowledge.
Starting with a basic recipe, my husband has tinkered over the years to adjust ingredients, find the right proportions, and perfect techniques. That’s understanding.
Finally, the application of information, knowledge and understanding to creatively prepare a tasty, attractive and nutritious entrée requires wisdom. In this illustration pizza is wisdom.
Absorbing bytes of information without the wisdom to correctly and creatively apply them is like buying ingredients for a pizza and then serving them separately: a pile of flour, a can of tomatoes and a dish of shredded cheese.
Taking a bite of a pizza is far more satisfying.
Where, with access to unlimited information, is knowledge?
Where, in all of our education and knowledge, is understanding?
And where will we find wisdom?
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10