by Cornelius D. Jones
Throughout my journey in life, I have come to discover, the most powerful tool in the world is not money, positions, nor fame…it’s the power of knowledge. With money we can buy whatever we desire, but with knowledge we have the power to dictate how much we can earn. Power is the capacity to direct or influence behavior of others and the course of events. It’s the ability to possess control and authority over someone or something. When knowledge is combined with will, we can transform ourselves into someone powerful. Knowledge is often wisdom passed down through years of trials, tribulation, and education. Knowledge is what gives us the intellectual, physical, and spiritual strength to conquer all obstacles before us. People loosely say that knowledge is power. The truth is knowledge is power only when it changes your life or the lives of others. To truly understand what you learn, you must know how and when to apply it. That’s the fundamental difference between theory and practice. There is no point of being a genius if you don’t use your intelligence and knowledge as a benefit.
Knowledge is merely a word, until it’s shared with others. Attempting to keep it to ourselves, would offer us nothing additionally and is selfish. The knowledge that I possess hasn’t just transformed my life, but I use It to help others in nearly every space that I enter. My goal has never been to be the smartest person in the room, but to be knowledgeable enough in multiple things to keep a conversation moving and empower others. The beautiful thing about knowledge is that it helps us to achieve the success that we desire, which gives us the power to control our own destiny. Being successful will require you to be knowledgeable in something. When I’m asked to come and speak, they are paying me for my perspectives that derives from knowledge. That places me in a position of power as I negotiate contracts.
Someone can steal your money or identity, but that doesn’t mean they can steal your knowledge. You will gain new knowledge with every class you take in college, every new skill you learn, and with every new experience you have. That knowledge will serve you your whole life. Knowledge insists us to know the difference between what is right and wrong. It helps to us to overcome our faults, weaknesses, and dangerous situations in life. True knowledge will help you to bloom into your full self.
Knowledge gives people the freedom to innovate and think freely, while contributing to the progress of a shared world. There is both value and power that comes along with all knowledge. However, there it’s also a responsibility in how we utilize the two. Dr. Kings said, “The function of educations is to teach one to think, intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character…that is the goal of true education.”
An education helps us to lay the groundwork to feel confident in our abilities and help us to find our passion in life. The knowledge you gain through education will teach you to stay committed and give you the ability to problem-solve. Gaining knowledge doesn’t happen only in the classroom, it extends far beyond our graduation dates. You will need to demonstrate knowledge on your job, in social circles, and while pursuing personal interest. Each of you can glean new knowledge that gives our life purpose which makes us powerful.
Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I find value in his words but want to leave you with this…when you integrate education and knowledge it provides you with the tools to enrich the minds of everyone you meet."