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Knowledge dispels ignorance

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Haven’t you heard the phrase, ‘Ignorance is bliss’ umpteen number of times that perfectly captures the essence of being ignorant and remaining in perfect state of happiness and contentedness? A little knowledge may become the cause of agitation that gives you sleepless nights by disturbing the equilibrium of peace inside you. We know that knowledge is infinite and by that virtue, any amount of knowledge acquired by us will always be insufficient and inadequate. Further, insufficient knowledge leads to lack of confidence and an all-pervasive feeling of insecurity that could be quite unsettling and unnerving. We would never be satisfied and would have lost all our inner peace until we find appropriate answers to all the questions that take birth inside our head.

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Knowing is the start of all the misery and the pain in one’s life. It is also the start of all the achievement of the greatest potential of the human spirit. Until you know what milestones lie ahead that can be achieved, you will always be a contended person in the present. You might never be motivated enough to launch yourself into achieving those milestones and you are sure to miss out on all the action that might have resulted had you known about them. If you had the knowledge, only then will you move yourself into action. The more you know, the more you find that there is so much more to know since knowledge is endless just like a bottomless pit. The more you travel on the road to knowledge there is so much more to discover and the journey seems endless and interminable. In this situation you are imbibing as well as learning more and more. Your happiness knows no bounds as you feel a lot more confident about your own self than when you started the journey. Your peace of mind vanishes and you put in efforts that would lead you to your goals. You will be consumed in the process of pursuit of higher objectives. In this situation you will start craving for pleasing results which will lead you into making progress on the path that you have set for yourself. This appears to be some kind of a conundrum. Do you realise that this is the most powerful contradiction that has the ability to change people’s lives?  

[ Also Read: Skill development should start much early, preferably in schools ]

During the course of my professional duties, I happened to come across a blue collared employee whom, on numerous occasions, I used to find immersed in some kind of deep study whenever I happened to observe him while passing by. And whenever he got some time off, especially the half an hour lunch break and a paltry fifteen-minute tea break twice a day, he would utilise these breaks to the maximum by gobbling pages of the books he carried along with. Out of curiosity, I once asked him what kept him so busy and there came his reply, ‘Sir I am pursuing graduation.’ I was pleasantly surprised at this bit of information as it was a perfect thing to do. How many people do we know who are even aware of what milestones lie ahead for them? Arming oneself with knowledge and academic qualifications was the perfect thing to do in today’s world of cut throat competition if one wishes to secure his or her future. During the course of the next few years he completed his post-graduation as well and thereafter took up a highly rewarding job at someplace else. I just wish him well and hope that his hard work has paid him rich dividends. He had realised the power of knowledge and academic qualifications that would propel his job prospects to another level. Do you realise the immense amount of hard work and sacrifice it would have taken on his part to earn those degrees while simultaneously serving a menial job? 

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We have heard of children born to poor parents who could not afford square meals a day as well as school fee and still go on to conquer the most difficult public examinations such as IIT-JEE, CAT, civil services and other professional exams. How could they do it? The first part if the answer is awareness about these exams and a deeper understanding and a belief about how success in these can change one’s future. The next part of the answer lies in preparing towards achieving success in these highly coveted exams. Would just the knowledge about these exams help a candidate succeed? No, not really. Having the information about the exams followed by acquiring all the knowledge on various subjects and portions of the syllabi and building proficiency will definitely spell success. Furthermore, the student would need to burn mid night oil and grasp all the finer details of the subject to be able to compete with a large number of candidates at the national level.        

[ Also Read: Higher Education – autonomy is the key ]

A student while studying in his first or second year of college may take up a few professional courses that are not part of the college curriculum but nevertheless very important from the point of view of securing a job with a good company upon graduating. Unfortunately, most undergraduate college programs do not aim at imparting relevant professional skills and hence the need arises. Taking up such professional certificate courses is a matter of personal choice as most students might contend themselves with what is being taught at college and never once think of how to improve their chances of selection at a job test and interview. Only a few students take the onus on their own shoulders to shape their future and destiny too. Are you one of them?      

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The longer you tread on the path of knowledge, newer vistas keep opening before you that beckon you to conquer them. Consequently, when you look back, you find a string of achievements that stand to your credit which serve to power your spirit as well as motivate you to achieve even greater heights in times to come. On this road to knowledge, you often become wiser and compassionate towards others. Don’t you think that in the ultimate analysis this was exactly the purpose of years of education? The purpose was to become a wise, knowledgeable and a compassionate human being? All the money, fame, luxury and comforts that you have come to possess are the bye products of your intrinsic craving to become a wiser and a compassionate human being. If you ever became too obsessed or complacent and haughty about what you have become or possess, then the entire purpose of ‘education’ might have been lost. For then it would obliterate all the baggage of good work done over many years or even decades. In such a case, all the success then would be attributed to pursuit of personal gain and not for the betterment of society having limited and restricted use. Just for once, think about the role that so many individuals such as your parents, teachers, instructors, colleagues, friends, relatives have played in your success and the resources of the entire society that were provided to you, before you take away all their credit. Count the number of people who have showered blessings upon you at each point in your life and kept you in their prayers so that you could become the person you have become today. Be grateful to all those who have ever come in touch with you and whatever little contribution they have made in your success for this would be the greatest acknowledgment and tribute to those benevolent souls.

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