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Solved Exercise for Precis writing with Title “Essence of Wisdom” Precis for Class 9, 10, 11, 12 and Higher classes.

Passages with Solved Precis

Most people would agree that, although our age far surpassed all previous ages in knowledge there has been no correlative increase in wisdom. But agreement ceases as soon as we attempt to define ‘wisdom’ and consider means of promoting it. I want to ask first what wisdom is, and then what can be done to teach it.

There are, I think, several factors that contribute to wisdom. Of these I should put first a sense of proportion: the capacity to take account of all the important factors in a problem and to attach to each its due weight. This has become more difficult than it used to be owing to the extent and complexity of the specialized knowledge required of various kinds of technicians. Suppose, for example, that you are engaged in research in scientific medicine. The work is difficult and is likely to absorb the whole of your intellectual energy. You have not time to consider the effect which your discoveries or inventions may have outside the field of medicine. You succeed as modem medicine has succeeded in enormously lowering the infant death rate, not only in Europe and America but also in Asia and Africa. This has, entirely, unintended result of making the food supply inadequate and lowering the standard of life in the most populous parts of the world. To take an even more spectacular example, which is in everybody’s mind at the present time: You study the composition of the atom from a disinterested desire for knowledge, and incidentally place in the hands of powerful lunatics the means of destroying the human race. In such ways the pursuit of knowledge may become harmful unless it is combined with wisdom; and wisdom in the sense of comprehensive vision is not necessarily present in specialists in the pursuit of knowledge.

Comprehensiveness alone, however, is not enough to constitute wisdom. There must be also, a certain awareness of the ends of human life. Perhaps, one could stretch the comprehensiveness that constitutes wisdom to include not only intellect but also feeling. It is by no means uncommon to find men whose knowledge is wide but whose feeling are narrow. Such men lack what I am calling wisdom.

It is not only in public ways, but in private life equally, that wisdom is needed. It is needed in the choice of ends to be pursued and in emancipation from personal prejudice. Even an end which it would be noble to purse if it is inherently impossible of achievement. Many men in past ages devoted their lives to a search for the philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life. No doubt, if they could have found them, they would have conferred great benefits upon mankind, but as it was their lives were wasted.

I think the essence of wisdom is emancipation, as far possible from the tyranny of the here and the now. We cannot help the egoism of our senses. Sight and sound and touch are bound up with our own bodies and cannot be made impersonal. Our emotions start similarly from ourselves. An infant feels hunger or discomfort, and is unaffected except by his own physical condition. Gradually, with the years, his horizon widens, and in proportion as his thoughts and feelings become less personal and Jess concerned with his own physical status, he achieves growing wisdom. This is of course I matter of degree. No one can view the world with complete impartiality; and if anyone could, he would hardly be able to remain alive. But it is possible to make a continual approach towards impartiality, on the one hand, by knowing things somewhat remote in time or space, and on the other hand, by giving to such things their due weight in our feelings. It is this approach towards impartiality that constitutes growth in wisdom.

I think that the disastrous results of hatred and narrow-mindedness to those who fell them can be pointed out incidentally in the course of giving knowledge. I do not think that knowledge and morals ought to be too much separated. It is true that the kind of specialised knowledge is required for various kinds of skill has very little to do with wisdom. With every increase of knowledge and skill, wisdom becomes more necessary for every such increase augments our capacity for realising our purposes and therefore augments our capacity for evil, if our purposes are unwise. The world needs wisdom as it has never needed it before; and if knowledge continues to increase, the world need wisdom in the future even more than it does now.


Essence of Wisdom

There is greater need for wisdom in the present day world. It has not increased in proportion to the knowledge acquired by the world. Attribute of wisdom prove that complexity of knowledge has not encouraged wisdom. Comprehensive vision is one of the factors of wisdom and it is not possible because of specialised knowledge. A research scholar in medicine may lower the infant death rate, as is done in Europe, Asia and Africa. But the consequent short supply of foodstuff and low standard of living show the lack of wide vision. Similarly, the discovery of the composition of atom was made for the sake of knowledge. But it has become a means to destroy human race. Comprehensive vision is not enough till it is accompanied by comprehensive feelings. Wide intellect does not necessarily include wide feelings, which help us to understand the aim of life. Both of these help to grow impartiality-another attribute of wisdom. Freedom from physical and physiological demands, as is evident from the growth of the child, also develop impartiality. Complete impartiality is impossible, still we should try to achieve it. Clearly, wisdom is needed in public and private life. It helps in the choice of aims and ending prejudices. Otherwise also specialised knowledge increases the capacity to do evil because if purpose is unwise it becomes an evil. So with the increase in knowledge wisdom is needed.


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