July 5. “Some people drink at the fountain of knowledge. Others just gargle.” (Anonymous)
Every generation claims that they have lived in an age when there was unprecedented knowledge. And every one of them has been right. The knowledge that our generation, and every generation before ours has built upon the discoveries and thinking of all that went before. Albert Einstein, and Isaac Newton are both reported to have said that they could see so far because they were standing on the shoulders of giants. Each knew that their amazing thinking and discovery was only possible because of the amazing thinking and discovery of those who went before them.
Today, not only do we live in a time of incredible discovery and knowledge, and the knowledge we are amassing is also piled onto the vast knowledge of all those who went before them. And today we have greater access to that information than has ever been possible before because of the very internet on which you are reading this blog.
Sadly, too many people do not take the opportunity to drink of the knowledge. Too many walk through life, barely gaining enough new knowledge to get by. It is said that ignorance is bliss, and to my mind there are far too many people who live in that blissful state. It makes me sad that they don’t have the same thirst that I do. I love to learn, and can’t wait to see what new thing I will learn each day, week, or month.
If knowledge is power, then the thirst for knowledge, and the desire to drink it in, is the most powerful enabler there can be. Through the constant gaining of knowledge and skills, and person can enable themselves to realize the greatness within them. When they merely gargle, or worse, walk past the fountain, they lock themselves into their current existence.
I wonder how much the internet impedes or assists in spreading all that knowledge out there. Information is right at your finger tips, but how much of it should be trusted. Is it reliable? Does Siri (for iPhone users) get her data from reliable sources? Does Web MD replace visiting actual doctors in some cases because the information is compiled on a easily accessed site?
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In my field (nutrition), sometimes it seems like everyone’s gargling. It leads to people getting taken advantage of (selling miracle supplements and quick fixes) and locked into their current existence as you say. This applies to many things though. Great article 🙂