I believe in the power of knowledge.
The expression ‘Knowledge is power’ is a common one throughout our society but this is not what I am referring to. I’m referring to the power knowledge has to change our opinions and how we think. The power it has to fight ignorance. All throughout my life my parents have encouraged my siblings and I to seek out knowledge. To constantly be learning and exploring new things. To not be afraid to admit when you didn’t know something. Whenever there was a word we didn’t know instead of explaining it to us their response would always be “Look it up”. That drive and passion to learn has shaped who I am today; my interests, my opinions, my work ethic. Seeking knowledge has taught me how to be independent and not rely on others. If I’m uncertain or curious about a subject I’ll look into it myself. Most of the passions and interests that affect my identity wouldn’t be with me if I didn’t have my knowledge. Mythology, animals, European history, books. Little random facts and intrigues that float around my mind, waiting to be shared with others
As I’ve matured I’ve noticed I’ve held knowledge to that same worth. At work I often take on the role of a teacher. But instead of just giving information about the animals I work with, I let whoever I’m talking to actually interact with them. Holding, touching, letting the animal out to explore just so they can observe it; all these things help equally in the formation of opinions and biases. While I can give information and cute stories about the animals I work with, it does no good unless people gain their own experience. It is up to them to decide if they will take the chance to learn something new, to change preexisting biases and prejudices against some of the less furry pets like reptiles and tarantulas.
Knowledge has even helped me to become a more accepting person. Reading books, watching films, learning history. All from different viewpoints. All from narrators of different walks of life, different countries, different race, different socioeconomic level. Different perspectives. All have helped me to realize what intolerance and ignorance does. All have helped me as a person grow. To stand up for the little guy. To realize the mistakes of the past and to try my best not to replicate them.
My dad often has trouble comprehending why, when information is so easily accessible, there are still so many who are ignorant or intolerant. The answer is quite simple. Not everyone is raised to value knowledge to it’s fullest extent. Not everyone seeks to know and also to understand. We hear it all the time in biology and the other sciences. ‘The point isn’t to memorize but to actually understand the content’.
Knowledge by itself isn’t power.
Understanding that knowledge, accepting that knowledge for what it really is without bias.
That is the real power.
The power to alter perception. To change bias. To get rid of intolerance
That is the power of knowledge.