Kay Young Superior, CO, US
Think and Grow Rich – Chapter 5 December 2, 2020
“There are two kinds of knowledge. One is general, the other is specialized. General knowledge, no matter how great in quantity or variety may be of but little use in the accumulation of money.” (Napoleon Hill) Though a few people may win the prize on some TV quiz show, most get bogged down learning and learning and still not knowing how to do anything.
In fact Hill exclaims that the phrase “knowledge is power” is incomplete. He interjects that knowledge is only “potential power.” He argues that “knowledge “must be organized and put to use, for a definite purpose, through practical plans.” The value of knowledge is, ”that which can be gained from its application toward some worthy end.” He also exclaims that this is what was lacking in educational institutions even in his own generation. Today, in my opinion, it is the same or worse. Students pay enormous sums of money to learn theories and platitudes in many colleges that do not prepare them for jobs.
Thinking back over various “jobs” I’ve had starting in my Junior High years, I realized that even while babysitting, I had to know a number of specialized knowledge pieces of information. Where the children’s clothes were, especially when they were in diapers. Who to call if an issue comes up. If there are any food allergies or medications for the child…etc.
In high school, when I ran my Dad’s small women’s clothing store, I needed to know the merchandise, how to write a sales ticket and to add-on sales, how to decorate the front store windows,plus how to manage several customers at a time and how to count and order inventory.
Later during summers in college, I worked in Libby’s cannery checking quality control. Each food that was processed had check points at places and different levels of quality control.
Any job which brings income requires specialized knowledge that is used in the various areas of the job.
I did teach English about 10 years, which was the course of my study in college. Years later, I wanted to teach music and had to take different courses to qualify. Just because I was a teacher didn’t mean that I could switch to a different subject without being trained in that subject. Each subject takes specialized knowledge.
When I completely changed from teaching and opened a Skin Care Salon with a friend, I went to school that specifically taught techniques of skin care services and products and even shop management. This was obviously a trade school. I found this direction much more organized and focused, only preparing people who would work in this field as technicians. They even taught people skills as well. Generally, students went right to work with these skills while general college graduates were often still unsure about what they planned to do.
In the present time I have just raised a grandson who is now 21, I was especially interested that students in his high school were pressed to choose a direction for their lives in the 9th grade. I had mixed feelings about this as high school is thought of by many as a time to find subjects that interested them, but it also did make them think seriously about their own direction and start organizing the knowledge through class choices at a younger age.
We had another look at education with my 4th son. He went to a college in our state about 5 hours away his first year. On the way back to his second year, he had a very serious single car wreck on a remote 2 lane highway. He was thrown out of the closed driver’s window after several roll overs and left unconscious for some time in a field of cows. Finally, some other driver noticed the car in the field and stopped to help.