Knowledge is Power: Meaning, Examples, Origin, Expansion, Importance and Short Stories

Meaning

The phrase ‘Knowledge is Power’signifies that the true power, a man can withhold is the knowledge that he has obtained. Physical power has its own limitations but knowledge will let you do great things that have never been thought before. The simple meaning of the phrase is that the more knowledge you have, the more you would be able to control the events. This is the real power a man can have. You can do whatever you want with your life; achieve whatever you want and earn glory and respect in life.

Examples

A phrase is well understood with the help of a perfectly selected example. The example has to be in the form of a sentence and must deliver the true meaning of the phrase. I am writing below some of the examples of the phrase ‘Knowledge is Power’ to let you understand the true meaning of it.

“A wise and knowledgeable man can anytime outwit a giant”. – Indeed, knowledge is power.

“Physical strength will only let you lift things, but knowledge will let you influence people and change their perspective. That is the true power indeed.”

“It is only knowledge that can put you in an influential position in an organization, but not your physical prowess” – yelled the manager to his employees.

“Leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, weren’t physically very strong, yet they held the power to influence millions – only because of the knowledge they possessed.”

“A king needs not to be physically powerful, but wise and knowledgeable he must be because only knowledge is the true power.”

Origin

The phrase ‘Knowledge is Power’ is associated with Sir Francis Bacon, an English philosopher, and statesman, who had also served as the Attorney General of England.

It must be noted that the exact phrase isn’t found in any of Bacon’s writings. In fact, in one of his Latin writings named Meditationes Sacrae (1597), a phrase appears – “ipsa scientia potestas est” which is loosely translated to ‘knowledge itself is power’ in English.

However, the exact phrase was mentioned in a book titled Leviathan, written by Thomas Hobbes, who had worked as the secretary of Bacon. In his work, Thomas had written ‘scientia potentia est’ that translates to ‘knowledge is power’ in English.

Since then the phrase is in popular use and is mentioned from time to time by many authors and noble laureates. Apart from it, another almost similar phrase ‘wisdom is power’ is also in popular use.

Expansion of the Proverb

The phrase ‘Knowledge is Power’ signifies that knowledge is the true and actual power of a man but not his physical prowess or the weapons he possesses. The power gained through knowledge is permanent and stable; while physical strength is only temporary.

Let us understand it like this – can you fulfill your dreams using your physical strength? Obviously not! To fulfill your dreams whatever they may be, you need to gain knowledge in the respective field. If you want to become a doctor, you have to study hard. What is physical strength compared to a doctor’s power of saving lives? Indeed, however frail a doctor may look physically, he is obviously more powerful than a bodybuilder.

Knowledge in this case means wisdom – your wit and ability to use your brain rather than limbs. It refers to the display of wisdom rather than physical strength. Power, in this case, doesn’t mean the physical power that we use to move things from one place to another, but, the power to bring about a change in someone else’s life; in the society or in your own life. That indeed would be the real power and can be achieved only through knowledge.

Importance

The phrase ‘knowledge is power’ is very important, especially for the students, who need to understand the true worth of knowledge and wisdom. It teaches them that it is the knowledge that they should seek in life, but not physical possessions.

Students today are exposed to a lot of things, lots of people, and have access to everything they want. It is common for a child or even a grown-up man to feel proud and powerful, holding a gun in hand. The phrase very cleverly rejects such an attitude and inspires them to seek true wisdom and power, only through knowledge.

With a gun, you can only be a threat to someone or even kill him, but with knowledge, you can change their life for better, not to mention your own. The phrase is very important for it teaches the people the true latent power of knowledge.

Short Stories on ‘Knowledge is Power’

Like I have said before that a well-written story around a phrase is worth a thousand explanations. A story that is wisely constructed will let you better understand the true significance of the phrase ‘knowledge is power’. So, I am giving below two stories for your reading. Hopefully, they will help you understand the true significance of the phrase.

Short Story 1

Once there lived a frail-looking poor boy, named Raju in a remote Indian village. His father, a farmer, barely managed to pay the school fee of a government school. But Raju had an unflinching devotion for studies. Even though he studied hard and was good in studies, everyone mocked him for his lean appearance and poor family background.

His classmates always consider him inferior and weak. This, obviously saddened Raju, but he exercised patience and was hopeful of one day proving all of them wrong. He had full confidence in himself and his knowledge. He knew that one day, with the knowledge he has, he will show it to everybody that he is the most powerful boy in the class.

With a desire to prove everyone else wrong, Raju studied hard, very hard indeed. He prepared for all India medical entrance exams and secured a rank within the top ten. It was an exceptional achievement for the son of a poor farmer. Now, something got changed suddenly. Those classmates of Raju who felt more powerful than him suddenly started feeling weaker. Even with all the affluence and possessions, they felt weaker and inferior to Raju. Why? Because – Raju has the power of knowledge and somewhere in their consciousness, they knew that in the knowledge only lies true power.

Short Story 2

Once, a heavy sea liner broke down in the middle of the sea. The captain summoned the engine mechanic to see what the problem was. The mechanic came, greased his hands with every part of the engine, but failed to identify the problem. Confused and angry, the captain summoned the engineer, but unfortunately, even after hours of testing, the latter also failed to get the engine running. By this time, the king was really angry and scolded the mechanic and the engineer, for their inefficiencies. Everyone was feeling so powerless in front of that fault.

Left with no option onboard, the Captain summoned the oldest and most experienced maintenance supervisor, who was now retired and looked after the mess. The old supervisor inspected the engine, gave a long sigh, and went back to his room. He came back with just a hammer, entered the engine room again, and gave just a tap with the hammer at a particular place in the engine. To everyone’s surprise, the engine roared back to life. The knowledge that the old retired supervisor had accumulated through his entire life, had given him the power to move a colossal sea liner, that no one else could – indeed, knowledge is power.