Knowledge is Power – Debunked! – Part 1

In the past few years, how many times have you heard the phrase “Knowledge is Power?”

If your experience is anything like mine, then you’ve probably heard the phrase hundreds of times.

Exposing the flaws in one of our most popular expressions
Part 1

In the past few years, how many times have you heard the phrase “Knowledge is Power?”

If your experience is anything like mine, then you’ve probably heard the phrase hundreds of times.

Every New Year, personal development coaches or gurus that I have read, heard or seen, use the phrase with absolute conviction and authority as though it should never be examined or questioned!

Because I have never been a follower of the masses and believe that most “conventional wisdom” is foolishness, I decided to examine the phrase in light of the facts. My goal is simple: determine if “knowledge” truly produces POWER in the recipient’s life.  Though I had held the belief that knowledge produced power and promoted the saying often, there was still a gap between “knowing and doing” that provided a measure of doubt.

The more I researched and compared the lives of those around me, the more my heart and conscience screamed, no way, this popular phrase is not true. If it is, then something is wrong with the knowledge (information and facts) that many are getting. It was obvious that most of the “knowledge holders” in my circles, lacked the POWER or ability to complete or fulfill the very things that the said “knowledge” is alleged to empower them to do. You may have to read that again!

As I embark on this journey to expose you to my conclusions regarding this popular phrase, I know that there will be some of you who will read this and still disagree. Confirming that the influence of this statement upon society, the business world and popular-culture is extensive! So at the outset, I want to say that it is okay if you decide to disagree.

However, my research and experience has revealed that if any unbiased, thinking-person were to examine closely the “conventional wisdom” that is normally referred to, when the phrase “Knowledge is Power” is promoted; they would be forced to conclude that more information and facts does not equate to a change in what a person will or will not do.

Don’t get me wrong

I am not saying that knowledge cannot provide an advantage in many areas of an individual’s life. On the contrary, anyone that knows me, know that one of my passions is promoting the importance of continued education and learning for the purpose of “soul” development. Unfortunately, though, many who complete 4+ years of college or further education have no greater “POWER” to deal with everyday challenges, disappointments, or to do the things that they KNOW they should or desire to do. In this series, I will provide the reason and solution for this.

So what is Power?

Webster’s Dictionary, defines power as “the ability to act or produce an effect.”

So, let’s apply that simple definition to the phrase, “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER” and see if it pans out.

Conventional Wisdom promoted by the “gurus” says,

  • You are not what you ought to be
  • You don’t have what you ought to have
  • You are unable to do what you would like to do… because you lack the knowledge.

If this is true, then we should have less individuals struggling with smoking, alcoholism, obesity, pornography, and poverty. We should also have better marriages, disciplined children, financial prosperity, peaceful relationships, successful businesses, growing churches etc. What about the ability to make healthier choices? How many individuals do you know who “KNOW” a relationship, a certain kind of food, or even certain habits are destructive, yet their knowledge does not empower them to stop or go in another direction?

In our next article we will define knowledge, uncover the origins of the phrase “Knowledge is Power” and look at what Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich” had to say about “knowledge is power”! I hope you will continue with me on this journey. It could be life changing!

Sean Isaacs