The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you – BB King
True ignorance is not the absence of knowledge, but the refusal to acquire it – Karl Popper
Don’t worry so much about knowing the right people. Just make yourself worth knowing – Dau Voire
Most times when introduced to a new class of teenagers, where I teach, I usually ask the legendary question; “One plus One?”
First, they are startled by the obviously absurd question. I could hear them mutter in their hearts and under their breath,
“How dare you ask such a question? Do you think we are that dumb?” For some others, they believe that it is a trick question.
With the deafening silence that engulfs a room filled with teenagers who would be rambunctious at other times, I go ahead to clarify.
“I meant the question. There is no trick to it.”
One after the other they muster the courage to lift their hands up, and I hear a feeble voice say “Two.”
Then I pick on it with immediate alacrity, followed by a swift movement towards the person and with some urgency in my voice that makes me look dramatic. “Who said two?”
Someone in the audience finally owns up, and I say, “that’s correct.”
I allow the awkwardness of the moment to pass. I shoot another question.
“Why did we not answer the simple question?”
One by one they start to confer. The generic answer boiled down to the fact that the answer was too obvious.
“What is wrong with being too obvious?”
I use that moment to teach them about individuality even when it is too obvious and being confident in what you know; whatsoever it is. This allows me to familiarise with them … and the gist continues.
They return to their teenage selves … boisterous, chatty and impressionable.
Then I go back to that issue of “one plus one.”
“Why didn’t you open a book or use a calculator to get the answer?”
This is greeted with laughter. You see we are now friends … amigos.
Then we drill down to common answers: “It is because we know it.” Bingo!!!!!! “We know it.” We do not need any external help when we know something.
And that does not change no matter the location or situation.
“We know it.” And it does not matter who is asking.
“We know it.” … knowledge, which cannot be taken away from you.
I will give you a little story.
A guy came on board the ruling council of a country and could make the country a mighty one by his contributions.
Though a foreigner, he was well respected, and because of him other foreigners were allowed to stay. Then came a king who knew him not. Neither did he know of the contribution of the foreigner. He was just obsessed with the fact that there were too many foreigners. He came up with a plan to oppress them.
Eventually, a new king came to power in Egypt who knew nothing about Joseph or what he had done. Exodus 1:8 New Living Translation
- If this King knew who Joseph was, Egypt would not have gone through the suffering it went through (the plagues, the death of the first born, the drowning in the Red Sea, etc.)
- If this Pharaoh knew who Joseph was, definitely, he would not have shifted the ancient landmark … he would not dabble into the tirade that led to his cruelty to the foreigners.
- If this Pharaoh knew Joseph, Egypt would have been preserved.
- Let me extrapolate. I’m of the opinion Egypt never recovered after the foreigners left … after going through all the plagues, imagine what else would have been left in the land.
Reread Exodus and see the destructions that came from God due to a man’s lack of knowledge that led to the hardening of his heart.
A civilisation was brought to its knees because the king did not KNOW important information; he knew not Joseph.
The kingdom did not crumble because he did not know how to rule.
It crumbled because the king knew not Joseph.
The other derivative from this story is that there are people you should know in various spheres of life; spiritual, political, career, physical, etc.
You should know why things are the way they are. There are always reasons why things are the way they are.
If you are going to make a change, you need to know why you are in the status quo. Those who do not know are doomed to live in the repetitive circles of frustration. Talk of the infinite loop.
If this Pharaoh knew what Joseph was to Egypt, e no for touch de people. I remember once discussing with a sister in school, and I talked about Ojukwu, and she didn’t know who Ojukwu was. I didn’t know when I said, “Go and ask your father, I’m sure Ojukwu made him sleep in a bush.” My anger was fuelled by the fact that she was from the part of the country that was affected by the Nigerian Civil War.
One lesson I learnt from this is that there are things you must know. There is no room for pity if you do not know them. Why do you need to know?
- Knowledge preserves.
- Knowledge inspires.
- Knowledge leads to wisdom.
- Knowledge leads to freedom.
- You always apply what you know.
Never underestimate what you know. Apply what you know, and then you will thrust yourself to the next level of knowledge. You keep doing that, and then you become a subject matter expert in your field.
If Edison underestimated what he knew about the incandescent bulb and did not stick to his guns, it would have taken the world a lot more time to get the answers. Maybe someone else would have gotten it. Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows?
If George Washington underestimated the resolve of the people to have their own country, then maybe there would be no America today. Maybe. Again, maybe not.
There are things that you need to know … just the same way you know your name. The same way you know how to get back home no matter where you’ve been to or how long you’ve been away.
You see … there are more than three things to know in life.
But you must make it your job to know the things that will make your life livable.