No. 45

From the earliest writings of man on cave walls (which came to be known as hieroglyphics), and in the past 6,000 years of recorded history, mankind has had a thirst for knowledge. This insatiable thirst for knowledge has been responsible for most of the technological advancements and other achievements that has moved our civilization forward to present time. It is not my intent today to delve into the past so much, but rather to share some practical thoughts and ideas that may be of value to you. The Bible says in Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." As a Christian and one who has a deep love for God, I certainly believe this and try to keep this perspective in everything I do.
As we function day-by-day in our own personal lives, there's another consideration of knowledge that should be brought to our conscious mind from time-to-time. Namely, there are two kinds of knowledge: one kind we call "intellectual" knowledge that comes as a result of our intellect and we acquire this knowledge through study and observation. The other kind of knowledge is "experiential" or knowledge that comes from our experience. Obviously to be successful in today's times we need both kinds of knowledge, but there is a stereotype in our society that may be keeping some people from becoming as successful as they could be.
In recent years, our society has almost come to deify the attainment of a college degree, and in many cases has looked upon the person who doesn't have one as being somewhat inferior. From my experience, I can tell you that a college degree does open many doors and it's a step in the right direction, but it does not guarantee success. There have been hundreds of times when I have been a paid featured or keynote speaker and I was the only one there who didn't have a college degree. They were paying me for my experience and for my proficiency in developing a skill. What I'm saying is this: don't ever suffer from low self-esteem just because you may not have a college degree. It's great if you can get it and I certainly recommend that, but if you don't, you can bridge the gap by your experience.
However, we should never be like the fella who didn't have 20 year's experience; he had one year's experience repeated 20 times. He never went on vacation because he was afraid he wouldn’t be missed. Another example is when I was in high school and our class went on a field trip to The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. One of the speakers told about a company that had a large generator that stopped working, and as a result the whole operation was shut down. Well, everyone in the company tried to get it started again, but with no success. Finally, they called in an "expert" and when he arrived and surveyed the problem, he took a little ballpeen hammer and went to a certain spot and tapped on it three times. It started immediately and the company was back in business.
In a few days, this "expert" sent the company a bill for $5,000. Since it only took about 10 minutes of his time, the company felt this was a little high, so they asked him to itemize his bill. The expert's new invoice contained these words: "Pecking on generator $10.00. Knowing where to peck, $4990.00." Granted, this expert probably had a college degree, but his experience was also very important. We are never bored when we are learning something useful and worthwhile. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)