by Nishaa Mishra
The only true wisdom is to know that you know nothing”- Socrates
Since the inception of human civilization, from the moment a child sets foot on the Earth, the light of knowledge nurtures him, just like a tender seedling is cultivated by the warmth of the Sun. A child, who is completely oblivious to the harsh realities of the world, seeks knowledge with wonder and fascination. This enriching journey of accumulating wisdom on his path to becoming an adult is deeply rooted in the Indian Philosophy of “Ashrama” or the four stages of life. When that seedling has burgeoned into a colossal tree, it is then that his knowledge becomes an asset. In this process, life itself becomes our teacher with its fair share of highs and lows; where we attain the true wisdom of knowing ourselves. The most remarkable thing that makes one admire knowledge is its ability to transcend the barriers of caste, creed, age sex, gender, faith, religion etc. In his highly esteemed play King Lear “Tis the times’ plague, when madmen lead the blind” Shakespeare used the recurring trope of the Fool to illuminate the reader’s mind. Closer home, we have myriad examples of famous people who had scaled great heights, with their asset of knowledge. APJ Abdul Kalam, a renowned scientist and statesman had developed India’s first indigenous SLV-3 vehicle, despite being from a poor background. Furthermore, Sundarlal Bahuguna, the pioneer of the Chipko Movement used his wisdom for the noble cause of protecting the environment. With the advent of digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the pursuit of knowledge got a shot in the arm. However, on the flip side of this sterling coin, we also have erudite men who use their knowledge to launch wars or destroy the environment, thereby putting us in the throes of inevitable agony. In this regard, the concept of moral wisdom comes into the picture; a virtue that has got buried beneath the façade of superficiality. It is a necessary element that ensures that we can discern between right and wrong and work together, for the greater good of humanity.
Thus, while knowledge enlightens the mind, an excess of it can put our lives in danger. Moreover, to quote a line from my own creation on the theme of “knowledge” I would like to assert that “A life without knowledge is like an unmanned ship,
Left to wander in the turbulent sea of life”
About the Author:
Nishaa Mishra is a writer based in India