Streetwise vs Bookwise?

Streetwise vs. bookwise – this is a highly emotive topic these days. So, which is really better – Being streetwise or bookwise?

streetwise | street senseBookwise describes an individual as generally well-educated and intelligent, and can do well academically. Nevertheless, the underlying idea is that the individuals deal with scenarios, especially the bad ones from an intellectual direction. Therefore, they base or use decisions on knowledge, facts, or solid insights obtained from books / studying.

This is a complete contrast to being streetwise. This describes a person who knows the ways of the world. They understand how things can be done in real life. The concept is that an individual deals with things, or matters at hand from a more practical direction and with more pragmatic considerations. Streetwise, therefore, means intelligence is not actually from books, but from real and personal experiences.

Being Streetwise is Far Better than Being Bookwise

Being streetwise is better than being bookwise since you have more situational awareness. You can easily assess the environment you are actually in; the people who are in it and what the possible available angles are. Being streetwise requires you to trust your own judgment about people and on things that really matter.

Regardless of where individuals develop it, the skills of being streetwise are of great value wherever life takes them, or how far from the streets they are. Most importantly, streetwise is better because this comes from real experiences. This means that you have learned how to properly deal with events that have happened to you, whether these are bad or good. You learn from these and definitely improve from these.

So, What Really Is It to Be Streetwise?

Being streetwise means having good environmental and situational understanding, compared to bookwise. If you are streetwise, you are aware of what’s happening around you. You’re capable of making sound judgments on particular scenarios, people and places. Above all  you’re able to trust your own judgment. This can be considered as a gut instinct, and yours is said to be on point.

It also means having that basic understanding of street level, or being on the ground. You could also say that you are in the the battle instead of just looking down on it. Your solutions to tasks and problems are more likely to be logical and practical. Streetwise as mentioned is developed purely from real life and experience, just like the street art, which is an expression of this.

This comes from doing work that other people just read about. Starting from getting their hands dirty, getting stuck in, or creating failures and successes, their first-hand experiences help develop their understanding and knowledge of work, life, and the world.

This seems to be a fundamental advantage. Being from the street, in a sense, means that you have learned a lot of things and experience them in real time instead of just reading about them in books. Being streetwise also means knowing the ins and outs which can only be obtained from ‘doing’, whereas being bookwise has knowledge that is acquired second-hand from learning and reading.

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