This I Believe

Dalila - Washington, District of Columbia
Entered on March 29, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

When I was in middle school, we, my classmate and I, put posters of Muslim saying about knowledge: “Search for Knowledge from the crib to the coffin”, “Search for Knowledge even if it is in China”.

My prayers to God always contained a statement requesting from God more knowledge. I believed all problems can be solved with knowledge: knowledge of others, knowledge of the land, etc. I believed that there exited a direct relationship between knowledge and wisdom: a knowledgeable person is a wise person, and a wise person is a knowledgeable one. Bright people must be wise people.

But then I came up with a statement in the Koran that stated that “Wisdom is the ultimate gift from God”. I interpreted this to mean that knowledge is not equal to wisdom. In February 2007, African American month, I was watching a documentary about Dr. Percy Julian, in there it stated that in the fifties some Harvard Professors, yes you heard it right, were trying very hard to prove that African Americans were inferior to White Europeans, and it took Dr. Percy Julian almost a year to find a job within the scientific community, not because he was not qualified but because he was black.

How can people be so smart and so unwise at the same time? I have met pre-school teachers, Ms. Williams and Ms. Lucas, with no degrees from MIT, or Harvard but they are wiser than most bright people I have met in my entire life. The consequence of their wisdom is they had a more fulfilled life than some wealthier or smarter people I encountered in my life.

I believe that God has given them the gift of wisdom. I am lucky to have met these women, and to have absorbed some of their wisdom. I believe that this gift is the best gift that God can give someone, and now I pray God to give me wisdom. I agree with Native American Indians, that a wise chief is always better than a strong chief.