Is knowledge worth all the efforts we put to get it? Is knowledge the most important thing that one needs today? Surely, we are in a knowledge based economy. The more knowledgeable you are, more you get paid and respected. When something goes for a toss or when someone messes up something, ‘lack of knowledge’ is probably the reason behind that.
For past many years, we have been made to believe that knowledge is the saviour. For a long time, knowledge was synonymous with information. Later, gradually we began to understand the thin line between knowledge and information. After this point, we really started focusing on the knowledge.
This quest for the knowledge is quite visible throughout our society. A lot of work is being done in the field of education. Decades before, the visionaries understood the importance of knowledge and IITs and IIMs were founded. Everyone thought that these premier institutes will reap knowledgeable professionals and that will solve our problems.
It seems, we have missed something which is very important. Knowledge wise, we have thousands of students passing out from these and many more premier institutes; has it solved any of our problems? If one observes carefully, one realises that only knowledge is not enough to solve the tough problems which we are facing for many generations. Just knowledge does not assure or lead to any solutions. Knowledge can even be destructive and we all have seen that happen.
So what is it that can solve our problems? What is that one thing above knowledge and we are all missing? To understand this problem totally, we should introspect why we became knowledgeable in the first place.
Our knowledge is mostly forced and conditioned. Our knowledge comes out of some purpose. It may sound brutal, but not even a few of us are concerned about the problems which we are facing. We are being educated not to solve problems, but to fit in the system, to help it grow. Our knowledge helps us become a piece of the entire machinery which focuses at churning out profits.
Knowledge can solve problems only if solving problems is the focus of those who earn that knowledge. How many of us think about solving problems or think beyond our salaries and luxuries? I keep on meeting many of my friends who are preparing for civil services examinations. Many of them are engineers. I keep on asking them one common question- ‘Why are you putting in two to three years of your life preparing for an exam?’
“Because we want to bring about a change” is the common answer that I get.
Do we really need government post and authority to bring about change? Frankly speaking, the one who wants to bring about a change will start working to bring it. When we prepare for civil exams, change is not the only goal; it will be one of the goals and the other goals would be authority, prestige, power etc.
Solving social problems does not require only knowledge. Above knowledge, it needs sensitivity and ability to look at things as they are. Knowledge, when coupled with the sensitivity and ability to observe, can do something to solve the tough problems which we all face.
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