Seeking knowledge is an indispensable part of our lives as all of us, whether young or old, keep on gaining knowledge from cradle to grave. However, all of us use different means to attain it. Many people think that knowledge gained through books is superior to knowledge gained from experience; nevertheless others think vice versa. In my view, both are important, but knowledge gained through experience is better in some aspects.
To begin with, both types of knowledge are important because they are related to each other. What we learn through books, we experience it into our real lives. For example, while I was studying Pharmacy in Punjab Pharmacy College in Pakistan, we were taught Tablet types, their manufacturing and coating techniques in our third professional pharmaceutics class. We came to know about dry and wet granulation techniques of making tablets and various types of coatings like sugar coating, film coating, enteric-coating and so forth. These topics were interesting and we learned them thoroughly. When we came to final professional, we got a chance to manufacture tablets in our Industrial Pharmacy laboratory. Although, these were extensive processes and a heavy machinery was used to carry out these procedures but it seemed much easier to us as we knew the process already, we just had to know about various parts of tablet manufacturing machines and coating pans. As you can see, our knowledge from books helped us to carry out the cumbersome procedures in an interesting way.
Second, I would like to say that as knowledge gained from experience is more long lasting so, it is far more superior than knowledge gained from books. For instance, when we learnt pharmacology, we studied signs and symptoms of various diseases. This was more like just cramming to me as I quickly forgot them after my exams. I remember when I learnt symptoms of Leprosy, a deadly disease which is spread through virus, I was surprised to learn a symptom “Lion face”. It was weird for me and I could not imagine that how a human face would look like a lion’s. During my residency training, I saw the miserable plight of a patient of Leprosy patient. I saw his nostrils spread out with damaged nasal septum. Only then, I realized what the book was telling about. This left an indelible mark on my mind. After that, I never had to cram those symptoms as they are automatically saved and will stay in my memory forever.
In a nutshell, both types of knowledge are vital to us because together they help us to thrive in our careers, but the knowledge gained from experience is somewhat better because it is more long lasting. We should always strive to gain knowledge whatever the source might be.