This archived article was written by: Caitlin Wright
Knowledge is the single most valuable possession in this world and can never be taken from us. It is a treasure precious above all else that we can obtain. Unfortunately, in our world, obtaining knowledge is undermined by the supposed importance of money.
Oliver J. Caldwell said, “One of the principal challenges of our world to the individual is that he must not only achieve a fairly high degree of specialization to make him a useful member of society, but at the same time achieve enough general knowledge to enable him to look with sympathy and understanding on what is going on about him.”
How true these words are. With knowledge, eventually comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes the ability to rule our lives with not only reason, but with passion. In Kahlil Gibran’s book, “The Prophet”, he writes, “Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul. If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas. For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, that it may sing; and let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the Phoenix, rise about its own ashes.”
In a country where we are blessed with freedoms and rights to learning, we do all that we can to strive for a higher education. People all over the world who suffer from oppression and poverty and have no access to such opportunities as ourselves, would literally give a limb for the chance to soak up vast wells of knowledge.
What is this life for if we cannot obtain knowledge from which we grow, develop and become all that we can be? Jean Jacques Rousseau writes, “Plants are shaped by cultivation and men by education … we are born weak, we need strength; we are born totally unprovided, we need aid; we are born stupid, we need judgment. Everything we do not have at our birth and which we need when we are grown is given us by education.”
Through gaining knowledge, we can better ourselves continually, as well as those around us. I would never be so bold as to suggest that getting an education is a simple feat. It takes hard work and much dedication, something that anyone going through school can testify to. It is hard work. Thomas Arnold said, “Real knowledge, like everything else of the highest value, is not to be obtained easily. It must be worked for, studied for, thought for, more than all, it must be prayed for.”
To all the students; be strong. In the end it will be worth it. Even though it’s difficult, it is something we must do to better ourselves and the world. Sally forth!