An Opinion on Sharing Knowledge
As far as I’m concerned, I believe all of us are striving for knowledge not just in school but also in the real world out there. Why? Because we want to prove to the whole world that we are as good as any educated people could be, or because we want to have good life skills so as to find good occupations and make a lot of money. Some people need education for they want to understand the world beyond their boundaries of mind. Yes, knowledge is vital to most of us, I suppose. But when you’re knowledgeable, will you care of sharing this priceless wealth of yours to the others?
When you are at school, you realize that competition is the main goal to obtain knowledge and get good grades. So, you challenge each other in order to get top grades in class. Usually you take this study competition too seriously that you overlook one important thing – sharing your knowledge. You may not think that it is necessary, but it really is. Just like some wise men said, people cannot live alone. We do need communication and friendship with other people, and we need to share information with each other in order that we can see each other’s mistakes and correct each other. Only by that can we improve our understanding. Suppose you have a part of knowledge that is rare and that you don’t want to share with your rivals in class, so you keep it to yourself only. Do you think you will be a winner by just that extra knowledge you gain? If you think so, then you’re a loser, like a saying, ‘Winning yourself is better than winning the others.’ Moreover, knowledge is just what scholars wrote down to pass on to later generation – you! They want to share their knowledge with you, so why don’t you share your knowledge with the others? Knowledge is not wisdom. To obtain wisdom, you learn not only things recorded in books, but you also need to find new knowledge of your own. Real wisdom is so powerful that it cannot be written down in books!
In Cambodia, I see many students as well as teachers try not to express all of their knowledge because they are afraid that someone would learn all of what they know. If you don’t see the drawback of this ridiculous fear, I’ll tell you. Some of the most essential knowledge that you have learned and haven’t been shared will be lost like a sinking ship! For instance, the famous Khmer martial art Lbok Katour (ល្បុក្កតោ) are partly lost to these days because the former teachers didn’t teach everything about the fighting skills to their students, fearing that their students would surpass them.
I believe most of you folks think that you try very hard to find some information, so you think up a question like, ‘So why do I have to give all of that to the other person who merely does anything?’ Well, it may be hard to find it, but what’s the big deal? When you share your knowledge with other people, it does expand not only your own knowledge, but it can also appeals to the others to share their knowledge and their opinions with yours. If you keep your knowledge only to yourself, then you’ll know only what you know but not what you are ignorant of, just like a frog in the well, or just like a knife that always stays in its pocket never to be used. Furthermore, if you share your knowledge with the others but they don’t share back, don’t think that it’s unfair, for after all, you still get to upgrade your knowledge. It’s just like a knife which is brought out to be sharpened often so that it cannot get rusty. Remember this proverb that goes, ‘Nothing dies faster than a new idea in a closed mind’. And if you’re afraid of losing your grades to the person whom you share your knowledge with, then it’s time for you to do more research so that you can surpass them. Studying is not just about keeping what you’ve learned, but it is also about furthering your knowledge.
Therefore, you should feel free to share all of what you know to the others. You don’t have to fear that those people you have shared your knowledge with will win you. Believe me, knowledge is unlimited, so as our brains in getting it. Besides, it is not absolute that those people will learn all of what you’ve told them. Most importantly, we are all Khmer, so we should distribute our wisdom with each other if we really want to develop our country to be a better one.