Knowledge Is Power: Myth or Fact?
You have probably heard the quote “Knowledge is power”. Anyone who has gone through a school system definitely knows this quote. Maybe your teachers or your parents said it to you in a slightly manipulated fashion to get you to study hard and bag your A’s.
Present-day society can look like the opposite of the quote most times. A lot of young people subscribe to a newer thought that “school is a scam” and can you really blame them? What possible power could knowledge wield when money does the job quite nicely?
Before accepting or debunking “Knowledge is power”, it’s important to understand the origins of the quote. It was Sir Francis Bacon in 1668 who created the Latin phrase “Scientia potentia est,” which directly translates into “For also knowledge itself is power.” Over time, the phrase was abbreviated to the version we know today: “knowledge is power.” Hence becoming a short and effective phrase used to promote a lifestyle of continuous education and personal growth.
Sir Francis originated the quote during the tail end of the Science revolution. Humanity had begun to learn things about the world around them and this brought about an era of rapid development, some of what was learned at the time became the preamble to current day technology. The era may have been filled with new things to learn but information was still scarce. The vast majority of people were uneducated and poor, not having access to books and higher learning. That was meant only for the rich and elite. The knowledgeable people held all the wealth, the influence and the power. In that time, “knowledge is power” made perfect sense.
The 21st century is a whole different ball game as we live in the golden age of information. If you can read this, there’s more knowledge at the tip of your fingers than there was in all the world’s libraries 50 years ago. Knowledge is available for anyone who has access to a smartphone regardless of income or status level. What was once for the elites now pales in comparison to what is easily available for the masses today. However, as knowledge has become so easily accessible, it’s also somewhat perceived as unnecessary, especially in the face of money, influence and celebrity.
If you happen to find yourself in the “school is a scam” crowd, you must know that knowledge isn’t only attainable within the walls of a school or library. Institutions have their merits but they can also be limiting. That’s why self-learning is used to enhance your formal education and thanks to the internet, self-learning has become so much easier to accomplish.
Let’s use ZODML’s founder as an example: Zaccheus Onumba Dibiaezue. Born to peasant farmers in 1914 and following his father’s premature death which completely halted his formal education at the primary school level, Zaccheus didn’t let that deter him. He hawked fruits to be able to buy oil for his lamp to use for studying at night. One can only imagine what else he went through to get the books he studied. Over time, his drive and veracity for knowledge paid off: he went on to study in the UK, simultaneously studying Law and Economics and went on to pass the English Bar exams. He set up a legal practice upon his return to Nigeria, and he became the commissioner of both finance and agriculture in the East Central State as well as the first company secretary of one of the largest Nigerian banks at the time.
You might be thinking that he lived in a different era and that things are different now, but to be honest, things might be different now but principles that work transcend time. In present-day Nigeria and all over the world, many people have learnt entire professions and high demand skills on their own (Web developers, programmers, designers, writers, etc). Chances are you might even know someone who is like this. I have a friend’s sister who had no prior skill, training or interest in art but she took up drawing as a hobby in 2019. Following some digital tutorials and a whole lot of practice, she now sells her artwork globally. And yes, you better believe that she’s making good money.
In Zaccheus’ day, he had to go through considerable effort to obtain study materials and even a light source to study with, but today, all you have to do is get internet data and you can learn anything you want with almost no restrictions. The global gig economy is also booming, there are no borders and almost anything is possible Every day, young Nigerians are breaking through the limitations of their environment and using their skills to operate on global levels that only a few in the previous generations could hope to reach. It is the knowledge that they have to reach those heights.(It is the knowledge that they have gained that has enabled them to reach those heights) “Knowledge is power” is very far from being a myth but it’s not exactly a fact. It’s slightly more complex than that. Knowledge is important in achieving power but it’s not complete if you fail to act on it𝄖 Knowing everything means nothing if you don’t do anything with it.
Whatever knowledge you have, which could be theoretical, technical, or practical, holds no value if you can’t use it to your required effect. That’s what Zaccheus did, that’s what my friend’s sister did, and that’s what most young Nigerians in the gig economy and start-up ecosystems are doing. Even though we live in a ‘third world’ country, the internet and the boundless information within it has allowed us to bridge the knowledge gap between us and the developed world. You can use it to stand on any and every global stage. All you have to do is seek it out, obtain it and act on it.
“Action is the real measure of intelligence.” -Napoleon Hill
Do you want to be powerful? Do you want to be limitless? Start by increasing what you know and watch yourself become truly powerful and limitless. Visit the ZODML Digital library today and gain access to our 240.000 book catalogue. Don’t let anything hold you back from your dreams!
Yours in Knowledge :-)