May 4, 2017

Short Essay: #4 - It has been said, "Not everything that is learned is contained in books."

"Not everything that is learned is contained in books" is one of those phrases, the importance and depth of which only increases as one grows in life, in work or in any relationship. It is a cliché yes, like the synonymous "Experience is the best teacher in life", but it cannot be any more applicable to each and every person's life.

What we learn in books in school is the easier, distilled version of facts even if we consider theoretical text book examples. How something truly works though, is only learned by those who go out and actually do or apply that knowledge of the book. In today's world more so, this is the reason more value has started to be given to practical knowledge than learning what is written in the book.

Also, while the literal interpretation of the phrase is rather easier to understand. We understand that the cliché has more to do with a metaphorical interpretation than the former one. Often, we realise that important life lessons are never present in a book; you simply can't understand how to talk to a certain person from a book; you can't get an expert in negotiation by reading the words written in a book. Not because helpful tips aren't present in thousands and thousands of books; but rather due to the unpredictable nature of such situations.

Similarly, you can't learn how to be most efficient in your particular profession, that knowledge and skill can only be learned from spending time and learning through experience. At the same time, while time and self-learned experience is indispensable, a good mentorship from someone having that experience you will later acquire, can also prove to be multiple times more helpful than what you can get by simply reading a book.

Throughout the passage of time, men and women have learned and passed on knowledge and skills to new learners that are unique in their mediums; for example, a secret family recipe handed down generations to new members; or some exotic art; or advice to people specific to a particular society, lineage, or descent.

In your own experience so far, no matter how old or young you are, your will find that you hold knowledge deep down in your mind, about things you never read anywhere.

It is thus said that one should be humble while at the same time striving to learn new things from wherever he/she can; and pass on that knowledge to those it would help.


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Written in 25 minutes without too much editing

1 comment:

  1. You know I have been a big proponent of books and knowledge through books. What you state is true though. There are a lot of things you just cannot learn purely through books because (as you said) of the uncertainty of situations. But I also feel that reading gives you an idea of what to expect and adds a level of understanding that is not present when you face something entirely new without being familiar with it through reading. However, in comparison, experience is always better. It is more realistic, I think.

    Hey, this gives another perspective: realistic vs unrealistic expectations or ideas when you read vs when you don't read. Or you could write about the struggles readers face.

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