When I was younger, I thirsted after knowledge. I loved to study, to read, to research, to take classes, to absorb information. I wanted to know facts and figures. I wanted to learn things that no-one could argue with. I wanted hard, cold, incontrovertible truths. I wanted to know stuff.
But as I grew older, I discovered that knowledge isn’t all that useful in and of itself. It has to be applied before it can be of any use. Knowledge is merely a tool. And like any tool, it serves no purpose unless it is used, and used properly. A hammer lying in a tool box is not useful. It needs to be wielded by a trained hand before it can serve its purpose. Until it is actively pounding in a nail, until it is actually doing something, it is totally useless.
Knowing how to bake a pie serves no useful purpose unless and until you use that knowledge to actually bake a pie. Knowing how many people in the world are going to bed hungry tonight is pointless unless you use that knowledge to help feed some of those people. Knowing that another person is hurting doesn’t matter unless that knowledge drives you to provide some comfort. Cold, hard facts are exactly that: cold and hard. And empty. But using those facts for the greater good is what gives knowledge its value.