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Knowledge is power only if you know how to use it

Updated on July 15, 2013

Knowledge is a good thing and there are many knowledgeable individuals in our country and around the world but having knowledge about various topics is power only if you know how to use it. There are basically two types of knowledge. One is book knowledge through reading and understanding various subjects or topics contained in a book such as educational books. The other is street knowledge in knowing how to survive on the street or street smart as some have identified it.

Knowing how to use your knowledge obtained through books is not an easy task to accomplish for some individuals. There are many smart individuals in high positions within society but utilizing the knowledge requires that common sense needs to be applied when attempting to utilize the knowledge learned through books. Books are a big source of knowledge only if we take the time to read and understand the information. Many times as students we are required to read books such as textbooks on various topics but understanding the information takes place through a classroom environment.

Our school system has many great teachers/instructors teaching a multitude of subjects within their respective educational institutions and their job is to help students comprehend the information. Separate from educational institutions we as individuals sometimes want to learn subjects on our own but understanding the information and utilizing it is more difficult. Many books are written each year and this is great but having the capability to apply the knowledge within each of them to situations in society can sometimes be met with resistance. The key to this situation is the knowledge of how to interact and inject information you have learned into interactive activities with other individuals or groups.

The other type of knowledge is what some have labeled street smart. The subject of street smart is more than you think when someone states a person is street smart. We sometimes consider street smart as being able to survive on the street as many in our country face each and every day but there is more to it than this situation. Being street smart is not limited to on the street situations.

Each day we face the need to have a street smart mentality as individuals. Each of our situations as individuals is different given our respective circumstances and as such our street smart mentality needs are different. Being street smart in society today is knowing how to handle situations we face and the decisions we must make on a daily basis. Many individuals from all walks of life make an effort to influence decisions we are facing at any given moment. Sometimes this influence is good and sometimes it is bad.

Influence can be a good thing if we are getting information from a reliable source about a topic or situation on which we are facing to make a decision. Individuals possibly without realizing it sometimes are influencing our decisions based on the information they are providing to us. Having complete and accurate information is important in any decision making process. While information is being providing to provide all the details surrounding our situations In this aspect we must be street smart to understand the details of information we are receiving and the impact of our decision each way we decide.

The bad side of street smart situations is understanding the objective of individuals providing information who may have something to gain based on the information they are providing. Being street smart in this situation involves understanding what is being providing and whether the source of the information has something to gain. This situation happens in society today more times than we realize. There are always going to be individuals who try to influence decisions we must make.

Knowledge from books and street smart can exist in all of us. During our school years we were taught many subjects some of which has stayed with us during our lifetime but we also learn from others who may have been in the same classroom with us. Understanding the relationship between our book knowledge and street smart knowledge to society is important. Understanding this relationship involves having the capability to utilize the power of the knowledge we have by knowing how to use it to our benefit each and every day.


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    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago

      American Choices

      Thanks for adding to this hub. You make great points and well worth the addition to this hub.

    • American_Choices profile image

      American_Choices 4 years ago from USA

      Hi Dennis,

      One of the many insights I learned in college was there is informal and formal power. Your insight provided here highlights the street smarts and the motivation behind the knowledge base.

      I have believed for decades that three pivotal courses are needed in every high school - philosophy, psychology, and logic. These three set the foundation for good judgement and objective review.

      The reality shows are teaching our children it is ok to fly off the handle, it is ok to be extreme. These teachings will destroy our society. Preservation of values is key and the only way to do this is to understand the end result of knowledge.

    • Dennis AuBuchon profile image

      Dennis AuBuchon 4 years ago


      I am glad I gave you an idea for another hub. I look forward to reading it.

    • d.william profile image

      d.william 4 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      Interesting article. I started writing a comment, but it became too long for this section, so i decided to write it in the form of a hub. I will give your article recognition for giving me the idea to write it.