Thursday, May 19, 2011

12. A Little Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

It is true that an ignorant man is worse than a beast. But to say that a man with a little knowledge is dangerous seems to be ridiculous. Man has always tried to pursue knowledge. In the early days of civilisation, man had a very little knowledge. It was much less than knowledge possessed by man today. Still he was better than the man who lived in ignorance like a beast. But imperfect knowledge can also prove harmful. In some cases it may lead to disaster. A mechanic who is not well-versed with the functioning of the machine he handles, may soon put it out of order. Similarly, a doctor whose acquaintance with the human anatomy is imperfect may diagnose a disease incorrectly and prescribe a medicine which may harm the patient. We have heard of several patients dying at the hands of quacks. In all such cases mere elementary knowledge of the subject may result in doing greater harm than good. It is wiser to seek the help and guidance of a specialist on the subject. There are persons who have a little knowledge. But they seldom think that their knowledge is limited. They think that they know much. Due to their narrow outlook they fail to recognise their limitation. Such a person is always dangerous. An ill-informed teacher is bound to misguide his students. An ill-trained soldier will bring a bad name to his country by his misdeeds. A lawyer with a superficial knowledge can bring about destruction of an innocent man. In fact in every walk of life a little knowledge proves to be dangerous. A man of true knowledge is always humble and regards himself as a mere child gathering pebbles on the shores of the ocean of knowledge.

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