To make a distinction between ignorance and wisdom is liken to compare between wearing glasses with a clear lens with one that has its index distorted. There is an obvious difference, and hence one can be sure whence wisdom is around due to its high contrast in comparison to ignorance.
And for one who has never realized with wisdom a particular situation will never understand how the point of view can differ so greatly, more so when emotion is displayed obviously between one who is wise and another who is not. And it is never possible to explain, save to show, another who has yet to realize the truth of the situation. Truth of the situation is not about trying to proof another right or wrong, but as a matter of fact – a fact that is unchanged, irrelevant of time, space or storyline – it is about the essence of the situation rather than the storyline itself.
Two ignorants conversing can be painful if both are trying to convince each other as wrong, each thinking themselves as wise. One ignorant with another wise can too be a pain if the ignorant who never understood where the wise is coming from, tries to convince if not argue his point of view, while the wise looking at the other in compassion, realizing the impossibility to explain, except to keep silent.
What makes such a distinction, one may ask? Both ignorant and the wise are coming from a different level of understanding, like a scientist trying to make a person see water as H20 without any prior information whatsoever. Both can be seeing the same thing, but seeing it differently. One obvious distinction is that an ignorant looks at a situation from the past even though he may not be aware of it, whereas the wise looks at the situation in the now, from the level of essence, of what is in actuality a fact occurring in the mind. One may say the ignorant looks at the effect of a situation, whereas the wise is able to see the entire causal relationship, as in cause and effect, of how the situation comes about.
Having the entire picture makes a complete truth of what has actually occurred rather than the danger of half a truth as that may become an assumption, which most of the time, makes an ass out of the situation. For instance, the act of generosity can be seen as a wholesome act as a result of outward appearance – arising from a perceived observation of what occurred… But if one was to watch the mind carefully, the meaning of generosity may not be present, though giving is being done physically, as behind that act itself is its own ulterior motive that taints the true meaning of generosity. The ability to see both its cause and its effect is wisdom at work. To explain this to an ignorant can at times lead to argument of why one needs to be so meticulous. But the matter of fact is not in the experience but realization; how if not understood, will only lead to the proliferation of defilements, or taints, in the mind of the giver, not giving at all, but in actuality, seeking.
In short, a mind of wisdom sees reality, with realization, whereas one with ignorant sees only delusion, not realizing it.