SEEKAPOR | an Educational Companion


BB King’s popular dictum, “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you” has been used severally to encourage young people to learn or stay in school. These days people believe that there is more to life and living it than what formal education has to offer. Although this is arguably true, there are somethings one acquires from education that cannot be found on the ‘streets’. Again, it is still true that knowledge you have acquired can be plagiarized but that does not reduce the value and worth of knowledge in your head. At any point in time, you can apply the skills, lessons and knowledge you have acquired through formal or informal learning to your advantage- in any situation at all- because the beautiful thing about knowledge acquisition is it being applicable.

Have you ever heard the story of the giant ship engine that failed? This story has been told at various gatherings and different lessons have been picked from it.  A rendition of it has been going round on whatsapp as well.  Anyway, here goes the story:

The ship’s owners tried one expert after the other when the ship’s engine failed but none of these experts were successful at fixing the engine.  An old man who had a lot of experience from fixing ships was brought in to give it a try. He opened up his huge tool bag and got to work immediately. He inspected the engine carefully and thoroughly.

Two of the ship’s owners were there watching while the old man worked .They were anxious to have the ship fixed. After the engineer was done with his inspection, he reached into his tool bag, brought out a tiny hammer and gently tapped on a part of the engine.
As if it were magic, the engine lurched into life. His work was done. The engine was fixed. He packed his bag of tools and left. A few days after, the old man sent the owners of the giant ship, an invoice for 10,000 dollars.

When the owners received it, the two who were there while the old man worked, exclaimed in shock that he hardly did anything. In response to the invoice they had received, they wrote, “We will appreciate an itemized bill”.

The engineer sent an itemized bill a few hours after and it read:

Tapping with  hammer ………… ……… ….. $ 2.00

Knowing where to tap ………… ……… ……. $ 9,998.00

GRAND TOTAL ……………………………………$10,000.00

In life, effort is important but knowing where  and when to make an effort in your life makes a lot of difference. There are students who believe that they are not good in certain subjects and therefore do not put in any effort to study those. You should not give up on such subjects, rather device smart ways of learning and put in a little more effort.

There are others who want to be footballers or Journalists, so they deem any subject not directly related to these occupations as relevant. No subject is irrelevant. Put in some amount of effort because knowledge in that subject is beneficial as well. One should equip themselves with diverse skill sets and knowledge so that when an opportunity presents itself, you would know where to “tap”.

December 9, 2019


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