Sunday, July 22, 2012

What Truly Educated People Know

Education is a beautiful thing. Many people confuse it with knowledge. Since most people forget what they learn, or rather, what they are taught in school, I think it's important to call attention to the differences between education and knowledge.

It's common belief that knowledge is power, but yet, we place more emphasis on getting, and being educated. But what is power? Influence? We've seen many leaders who had power, but no knowledge of how to treat people - how valuable is that knowledge?

Ironically, we don't really question knowledge, or the types of knowledge that exist, but we do question information. After all, information can be wrong. Knowledge, on the other hand, is often tested and refined via personal experience.

Do people go to school to get knowledge or education?

Google's mission statement is simple: Organize the world's information and make it accessible to everyone. Practically anything you can learn in school, regardless of subject, can be found with a proper Google search. Which begs the question: How educated does one need to be - if education is about being able to recall information that you learned? Why bother when one can just access information when it is needed.

I saw a man getting out of an elevator wearing a t-shirt that read, "Information is abundant - wisdom is scarce." How provocative. I'm sure that he was educated...or knowledgeable; at least enough to make this astute observation.

Since wisdom is trusted knowledge, and knowledge is truly power, and power is influence, then knowledge should first influence the thinking of those who who have it. Knowledge should be used to  question, confirm, and re-affirm one's education.

To be truly educated is to be deeply curious; to have an insatiable thirst for knowledge; to have a forward outlook on the unknown - not to bask in what is free oneself from ignorance through education, and dig deeper to find understanding, meaning, and truth.

The truly educated know that there is always more to learn, and become humbled by how much they really don't know.

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