I liked this bit from Seneca:
Nothing, however outstanding and however helpful, will ever give me any pleasure if the knowledge is to be for my benefit alone. If wisdom were offered to me on the one condition that I should keep it shut away and not divulge it to anyone, I should reject it.
I agree with this idea, and I think that it informs my decision to be a teacher and is part of the joy I find in blogging, not to say that I’m a dispenser of wisdom, exactly, but that I need an outlet of some sort for sharing the things I learn. I’m happy learning things on my own; I always liked school but don’t feel that I need it to learn things and often think I can learn better by myself. But what to do with knowledge I’ve gained? There’s something depressing about learning things and doing nothing with them. I think I’ve said this before, but still, it doesn’t hurt to say it again: blogging is a wonderful way do something with all the books I read and the ideas I encounter.
9 responses to “Sharing knowledge”
I agree–I love the pursuit of knowledge, but I love sharing the excitement of learning with others. The idea of becoming a teacher is what makes me feel justified in the somewhat selfish intellectual work I do as a graduate student.
That was the thing I missed most after retiring. I had no idea how much time I spent gathering knowledge and sources to share with students –and found myself at a loss when I discovered some neat connection or fascinating tidbit and had no students to share with.
I think that is why I have enjoyed book blogging so much–not just reading and sharing with others, but learning from others as well. It’s been a really good give and take experience.
When we don’t exercise our knowledge through application or teaching, we lose it. I spent one summer learning about trains: how they work; logistics of their operation; engineering involved in track layout; historical development; investigating mysterious disappearances. I don’t have much outlet for this information and most of it has drifted away.
Keep sharing your knowledge: it serves you and us. Thanks.
I agree Dorothy. I feel like blogging makes my reading more meaningful. Books that I read but don’t discuss with others or write about often just fade from my memory. Sharing the experience of reading somehow cements that experience.
Sarah — I don’t think being a grad student is selfish, but I know what you mean! Turning into a teacher is a wonderful thing!
Jenclair — that would be a hard transition — to lose one platform for sharing information.
Danielle — yeah, the give and take is really important — it’s what makes group reading like for the Slaves to interesting because we’re all collaborating.
Bikkuri — thank you! I feel the same way about my foreign language study; all those years of German are pretty much lost because I don’t use the language ever. Sigh.
Jess — I’ve found that too, that blogging about books creates an entirely different reading experience.
So true, if you can’t share knowledge, what’s the point? I never feel like I’ve learned or know something until I have the chance to explain it to someone.
I agree: blogging is a great way to share knowledge. You’re fortunate, though, in that you’ve chosen a profession that allows you to share knowledge as well. And, gain knowledge as well, of course.