The amount of knowledge at our fingertips today is remarkable:
Need Directions, hit google maps. Do you want to know what that actress played in before? Pull up IMDB. Where is that Bible Verse? Access the Bible App? How do I program my garage door opener? You Tube will be there for you.
I heard a quote on a podcast recently that if knowledge were truly power we would all be billionaires and have six-pack abs! It is so true, isn’t it? With a “Smart” phone we have all the wisdom of the ages, literally at our fingertips, yet the human condition seems little improved. Why is that?
I think it boils down to three things we must do to leverage knowledge:
Align: With so much information available, we have to filter out things that do not add value. There are certainly things that are available that might not align with things that will improve the human condition. Gambling sites, child pornography, and terrorist networking sites are a few that come to mind. Beyond that there are things available that may be fine in small doses, but if they consume our calendar they can take away from family, work, and more productive elements to have a successful existence, Pokemon Go, Candy Crush, Netflix streaming, and gaming sites to name a few. If we are to succeed, we must make sure we are spending our time accessing things that align with the goals we have.
Access: Having knowledge available has no value whatsoever if one does not access it! The other day I was driving around lost. After about 15 minutes it dawned on me that I should pull over the car, and use google maps. I will never get that 15 minutes back because I chose to delay accessing the information readily available to me. Many of us have had the experience of losing years of our life because we chose not to take advantage of knowledge available to us. The good news is that today is a new day. If we are still breathing we can choose to access the wisdom earned from the pain and successes of others.
Apply: With all this knowledge so readily available today, I think we have the danger of falling into the same trap as the ancient Greeks. We can sit around on our phones and computers, IM’ing, texting, face timing, and blogging about our lives much like the ancient Greeks hung out in the Acropolis debating philosophy while first the Roman Empire, then Christianity, then Islam swept across what was once their empire changing and reshaping their reality over and over again.
Unless we take hold of the available knowledge and wisdom and apply it to our lives nothing will change. This is true in all aspects of our life; family, careers, health, and spirituality.
On the latter point, we have had scriptures available to us for 6,000 years. The printing press made it more accessible 600 years ago, and now we can access it on our phones, and even listen to it audibly while we commute. Have we seen that change our generation? No, because though it is there for us, many of us neglect it, while others of us let it go in one ear and out the other, never allowing it to pass through our hearts and souls.
What knowledge do you think we need to access and apply to create the kind of world we want for our children and grandchildren?