What are the characteristics of a wise person?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is quite a difficult question based on the subjectivity involved in the recognition of a "wise" person. The word, (or its equivalent) when translated, has foundations in all the religions and, despite the disparities between the religions, this is something they all agree on.

There is a reason why, when referring to "wise" people, there is always a depth of understanding . A wise person has knowledge but his wisdom ensures that he applies that knowledge. His understanding is such that he knows that learning is an ongoing and interactive process. A wise man endeavours to learn from others, even if he has to make himself look foolish in his attempts.

A wise person has an acceptance of the truth that is multi-faceted and accepts other people's versions of the truth. He realizes that perception creates different truths and will explore all reasoning to get to the real truth.

Plato, a philosopher and great follower of Socrates  maintained that:

  the wisest man of all, as confirmed by a religious oracle, was one who professed to have no wisdom at all: Socrates

Socrates maintained that the search for wisdom was a lifelong pursuit.