Yesterday, a friend was lamenting the value of knowing is not all it’s cracked up to be. This got me thinking on just what is the intrinsic value of knowledge.
There is some knowledge for which we can spend our entire lives searching. The value in the answers inevitably is the direct result of the question asked. Some how in the first few years of our life we tend to move past the first questions of “who am I? What is my place, and am I loved?”
I’m not sure the rest of life’s questions mean much in comparison, but I would argue against your premise when it comes to knowing the answers to those questions. To know the answers to those questions, and I mean to know them to the core of one’s soul, may be not just great. I imagine it as the single “greatest.”
Knowledge of that magnitude is far more important than knowing the atomic structure of the ink used in an ink jet printer…yet on the sliding scale of value, I suspect we spend more conscious time gathering knowledge closer to “atomic structure of ink” level of importance than the “place in the universe” level.
Still back in regular life mode, I can understand the frustration of studying for a test only to have nothing on the test match what was studied. I think most of us have been there. I know it is to be prepared and still ambushed by the unexpected. I’ve seen that show in both private and work life. Still, I think we have to keep in mind why we studied or researched. Was it to answer an important question? Do we know more now than we once did? Can we go back and learn more once the questions we should be answering have been better defined for us? Is our real goal the “A” or the knowledge the “A” implies? I suspect those for whom the answer is the latter will be the long term person for whom we all search when we have a problem needing assistance.