Just to be clear, I’m not actually calling any of you fools. I’m merely posing the question. I’m also not suggesting any of you dress up as court jesters on the weekends to entertain others, though that would be fun to watch.
No, when I talk about fools, I’m talking about people who lack judgment. Instead of living with purpose, they wander aimless, from moment to moment, experience to experience. They learn nothing.
Perhaps the worst of it is that fools especially don’t understand when they’ve learned enough.
Then again, do any of us?
Why continued learning can make you more foolish than wise
You know, if I knew I’d never have to pay the piper, so to speak, when my student loans came due, I’d be a career student. I love learning new things. I love being able to apply what I’ve learned to my life or my writing. In fact, I’ve been considering returning to school for a graduate degree, even though it would be for the knowledge, not to further my career aspirations.
There’s a Chinese proverb that fits this situation:
“Wanting to know everything is the worst of follies.” ~Zhuang Zi, Warring States Period
Doesn’t make a lot of sense when you give it a surface read, huh? Why shouldn’t we want to learn everything we can? I mean, we were always taught that knowledge is power, that learning is half the battle. (Go Joe! G.I. Joe…)
Anyway. It makes more sense when you think about the nature and purpose of knowledge. It’s only as good as what you do with it. Alone, knowledge is meaningless.
Accumulating knowledge for the sake of knowledge is among the most foolish things you can do.
Why? Easy. As long as your focus is firmly set upon gaining knowledge, you’re not applying it. You aren’t working towards a purpose.
You aren’t doing anything but standing still in your life.
Can you gain knowledge and apply it at the same time? You bet…but you have to want to. You have to make the conscious decision that you aren’t going to just go through the motions of your life.
You have to make the conscious decision not to be a knowledge-hungry fool.
How will you apply your knowledge today to help you stop going through the motions of living?
Photo Credit: BraxtonUniversity, Wikimedia Commons
© 2011, Jen Whitten. All rights reserved. Using content from The Positive Piper without permission will cause the Negativity Beast to attack. BEWARE!