knowledge is powerWhen I was a student, I spent 3 months living and working in Stuttgart, Germany. I shared a room with another English girl, and every weekend we would travel somewhere by train.

Most of the time we had the good fortune to be the only ones in a compartment, and we would sit either side of the window, watching the world go by.

We were both partial to cans of brown fizzy drink, of which there were – and still are – 2 main brands (no free advertising here!). My friend had a preference for one particular brand – so, to be controversial, I drank the competitor’s brand!

In those days (we’re talking about the mid 1970s) fizzy drinks came in steel cans – but the brand that I was drinking had recently started to use aluminium cans.

On this particular occasion, returning from a weekend in Luxembourg, we once again had a compartment to ourselves. We were sipping our drinks and merrily chatting, when a rather shifty-looking man entered the compartment, sat down, and started staring at us.

We carried on chatting, trying to ignore the fact that his eyes were fixed upon us. It was making us feel uncomfortable, and we wished he would go away. I was coming to the end of my drink, so I took one final sip, turned to face the man, and crushed my can with my right hand.

Instantly, the man leaped out of his seat and rushed out of the door, without giving us a second glance!

“Knowledge Is Power”

You often hear people say that “knowledge is power” – these are generally people who hold on to knowledge, rather than sharing it, because they believe it will give them an “edge”. In fact, knowledge isn’t power – because, on its own, knowledge is useless.

In order to get the full benefit, we must do something with it – because the power is in the application of that knowledge.

I possessed knowledge that the man in our compartment didn’t. He must have assumed my drink can was made out of steel – and if I were able to crush it so easily, what might I do to him?! But I knew that it was, in fact, made out of aluminium and very easy to crush.

Simply by applying that knowledge, I was able to make him go away! 

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