Some of us think that knowledge is from reading research reports and books – nowadays from internet search engines like ‘Google.’ But the real knowledge is from watching and experiencing the real life which is considered to be the true laws of behaviour in action. We used to refer the former one as ‘bookish knowledge’ which is available to only a fraction of the human population. Such knowledge has to be tested before we put to use. At the same time the knowledge gained from ordinary people – may be the majority of human population – who have had real life experience, are indeed wonderful sources of knowledge because such knowledge is already tested.
There are people who have not gone to schools and colleges or joined such institutions and left because they failed in examinations. In fact, such people have more confidence and they try to take risk in their life for survival. That makes the real life experience tested by trial and error. Most of the successful people in world are not Oxford and Harvard educated elites. They are ordinary people. They learnt their life according to the opportunities they got. Somehow they developed their skills and use their untapped potential of their brain to achieve great goals in life. Their experience might have met with many errors and failures. But those setbacks would have been the stepping stones for success. We do see many examples in history as well as in today’s life.
Knowledgeable people have to put their knowledge in appropriate use. Those who fail to do so are not going up in the ladder of success. They always remained where they were. On the other hand, we do see people who get into hard life and experience all facets are respected and honoured by one and all. They may be called as ‘practical person.’ We can get the meaningful experience, the wisdom and insight from such practical ordinary persons.
Bookish knowledge provides us enormous opportunities to progress and achieve great things in life only when it is practiced. In order to practice those knowledge, we have to focus and concentrate which is often more difficult for many. So they remain with the bookish knowledge only, not attempting to go further. However, some of them cross this barrier and come out with flying colours. We also see such geniuses in our life-time. Scientists, doctors, engineers, technocrats have contributed a lot for the humanity. Whatever comfort we enjoy today is because of those knowledgeable persons.
Think of the millions of artisans of yesteryears and today who meet the needs of billions of people day-in and day-out. They are ordinary people who learned from their or other’s life. Also their constant pursuit to perfect their work improves the real life style of people. The real life however, provides the real impetus for gaining knowledge. I do talk to many of these ordinary people who throw newspapers at my door step, who press my shirts and pants, who sells groceries and vegetables to me, who build a house, who cultivate our food, who drives me around in taxi, who serves food in a restaurant and many others like that. It’s a great surprise and wonder to learn how much knowledge they have about their professions. They are also the real professionals like the teachers, doctors, engineers, corporates. Therefore let us try to appreciate every human being’s skills and talents per se and try to learn from them.