Knowledge and Individual Power
Knowledge is power, but many are reluctant to learn from others, or for themselves, as a result of their environment or upbringing. Knowledge is achievable by everyone, even the mentally handicapped, and is only limited by the desire of the individual. Power gained from knowledge is only attainable if one chooses to use the knowledge they have gained. The computer revolution, and in particular the internet, has made attaining knowledge much easier over the last few decades, but has also aided in the laziness of many to attain knowledge due to the myriad of distractions it also provided.
For example, before the mid 90’s a person had to go to the library to attain knowledge, and it required extensive research on a particular subject pouring through many books. With the advent of the internet, knowledge became a click away, but the information gleaned is a hodgepodge of meanings often taken out of context or more opinion than fact. True knowledge only comes when it can easily be recalled from memory and be freely expressed. The most fundamental knowledge needed in life is being able to read so additional knowledge can be achieved and used for empowerment.
For some cultures, knowledge is discouraged and looked down upon. In “Superman and Me” by Sherman Alexie (James, 220), Alexie expresses his intense desire to learn to read from an early age and how looking at a Superman comic book, he started to internalize his notion of what reading was by imagining what the panel’s actions depicted. Growing up on an Indian reservation Alexie expressed that “A smart Indian is a dangerous person, widely feared and ridiculed by Indians and non-Indians alike” and that “We were Indian children who were expected to be stupid” and lastly, “As Indian children, we were expected to fail in the non-Indian world.”
Alexie bucked that trend due to his father’s influence as an avid reader of everything he could get his hands on which inspired Alexie because...