Knowledge is not (necessarily) power

The ability to see something for what it truly is, is a rare and dangerous trait in this world. To look behind the curtain and see that Oz is in fact neither great nor all powerful may sound liberating but in reality, it’s not. Having awareness of the way things really are is often time an exercise in futility. As Hans Matheson’s character Lord Coward (a fitting name) eloquently stated “how terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise?” A great question to which I can answer only as how it has left an impression on me.

As someone that began their college studies in History and Literature before erroneously switching to that other useless endeavor called Business Administration I’ve long been fascinated by the knowledge of people, places and events. I’ve poured over countless text books and novels in search of a deeper understanding to the mechanics of this thing called life. Names, dates, reported outcomes, their all up in that space between my ears called my brain. Despite thinking myself clever being able to make an effective argument against many the misinformed I’m in fact not. In reality I’m a fraud, someone that will beat your ass at Jeopardy© but compare the tangibles – career, financial security, well maintained relationships, I’m shooting a big, fat 0%.

‘Get to the point,’ I can hear that inner voice yelling. My point – in the hierarchy of a person gaining information there is the worthless, learning (examples include those click-on stories we find littered all over social media), the slightly less worthless, education (this is what you find in traditional grade, high school and colleges) and then knowledge. In knowledge there exists the closest approximation to the truth that exists in our perceivable universe (examples include subjects like mathematics, computers, engineering, etc.; these are observable in the professional trades). At the end of the day though it doesn’t matter the level of awareness one has unless it is acted upon.

Action is the only precept under which a direct input results in a direct output. So whatever information you come across in your life (knowledge still being the ideal goal in the hierarchy) application is the only spark to light the fire. Understanding knowledge is not in itself power is a critical component to debunking one of the bigger clichés spread by the human mouth. To make clear as early and often as possible in life that knowing the variables does not solve the problem, that there is work necessary – often a lot of it, will be the difference between dreaming and achieving.

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