Tomorrow I will be speaking at Boca Ciega high school in St. Petersburg, FL as part of the Great American Teach In. I strongly believe that it is important for our young people to hear from positive influential people within the community and this is especially true in minority populations. How do I know? The low graduation rate of Black and Latino students is how I know. Don’t just take my word for it, do some research and Google the demographics on American high school graduation rates and find out for yourself.
But I digress. I’m speaking at the school because I cannot express enough the value and importance of education especially in today’s technological age. However, I need you to know something about one of the greatest misconceptions about education over the last half century. We’ve heard over and over again that “education is power” and I’m here to tell you that that statement is a falsehood. Wait a minute, hold your horses; before you crucify me let me explain. I’m sure you’ll agree that books, as well as other printed material are full of all kinds of information and knowledge, correct? Now I’d like you to conduct an experiment. Get a driving manual from your local DMV, place it in the driver’s seat of your car and then tell it to drive you to Popeye’s Chicken and get you 2 piece. How far did it get? My point is this; knowledge is not power, rather “applied knowledge” is power.
Books contain immeasurable knowledge, but books, in and of themselves have no power. Power comes from what you do with the knowledge you obtain from those books. Therefore the next time you’re in class and you teacher tells you that knowledge is power, ask him or her may you place your textbook on his or her desk and then kindly sit down at your seat.