In the realm of information technology and computer science, information is arranged in bits and bytes. The smallest unit of information is a bit. Typically, with a few bytes we have data. Sufficient data gives information; and sufficient information gives knowledge. And with sufficient knowledge and experience we get into a state called wisdom.
In the modern world, there is a trend whereby people are getting less intelligent, but more pragmatic; allowing computers to do all the data-crunching work. Rote learning is shunned like anything, and the shift is more toward analyzing the information that we already have. Not to reinvent the wheel, at least for language learning, rote learning has its role.
Unlike baby boomers (people who are born after World War II), currently there is a tendency to limit the number of offspring, especially in developing countries, apparently to ensure good socioeconomic standards to children. Fewer children mean automatically increasing the resources that are available to them. As the aphorism goes, “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” But in the modern world, there is a tendency among parents to avoid chastisement of any sort, save physical punishment.
For me, wisdom is directly related to a person’s conscience. And a person’s conscience is developed in his childhood. As the English poet William Wordsworth correctly noted, “The child is father of the man.” Proverbs says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. God’s laws are universal and are the mainstay of a person’s wisdom. When we fear about something, we are uncomfortable doing it, and physical punishment, like, spanking, will make a child uncomfortable to do certain things that are against, well, common sense, to say the least.
It is sad that today’s parents are unaware of the consequences of their bad parenting. Their child might be smart, suave, and apparently good-at-studies in the first appraisal. But unless he can distinguish the right from the wrong, he, as well as the society he lives in, will have problems in his adulthood.
I have personally seen the late Malayalam writer, Vaikom Mohammed Basheer, remarking in TV. He, in half-jest, is attributing all the modern scientific inventions to ‘Christians’. Because, I personally believe, Christians, especially Catholics, have a tradition of baptizing their children in their infancy. With a covenant that they will bring them up as ‘children of God.’ Spanking, or otherwise, it is the duty of parents to ensure that their children have moral sense. That will, in turn, allow them to enjoy the gift of wisdom in their adulthood.