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THE ENGLISH OFFICE 14 WAYS TO ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE 1.

PRACTICE Consider the knowledge you already have the things you really know you can do. They are the things you have done over and over; practiced them so often that they became second nature. Every normal person knows how to walk and talk. But he could never have acquired this knowledge without practice. [] Most of us quit on the first or second attempt. But the man who is really going to be educated, who intends to know, is going to stay with it until it is done. Practice! 2. ASK Any normal child, at about the age of three or four, reaches the asking period, the time when that quickly developing brain is most eager for knowledge. When? Where? How? What? and Why? begs the child but all too often the reply is Keep still! Leave me alone! Dont be a pest! Those first bitter refusals to our honest questions of childhood all too often squelch our Asking faculty. We grow up to be men and women, still eager for knowledge, but afraid and ashamed to ask in order to get it. Ask! When you ask, you have to be humble. You have to admit you dont know! But whats so terrible about that? Everybody knows that no man knows everything, and to ask is merely to let the other know that you are honest about things pertaining to knowledge. 3. DESIRE You never learn much until you really want to learn. A million people have said: Gee, I wish I were musical! If I only could do that! or How I wish I had a good education! But they were only talking words they didnt mean it. Desire is the foundation of all learning and you can only climb up the ladder of knowledge by desiring to learn. . 4. GET IT FROM YOURSELF You may be surprised to hear that you already know a great deal! Its all inside you its all there you couldnt live as long as you have and not be full of knowledge.

Most of your knowledge, however and this is the great difference between non-education and education is not in shape to be used, you havent it on the tip of your tongue. Its hidden, buried away down inside of you and because you cant see it, you think it isnt there. Knowledge is knowledge only when it takes a shape, when it can be put into words, or reduced to a principle and its now up to you to go to work on your own gold mine, to refine the crude ore. 5. WALK AROUND IT Any time you see something new or very special, if the thing is resting on the ground, as your examination and inspection proceeds, you find that you eventually walk around it. You desire to know the thing better by looking at it from all angles. To acquire knowledge walk around the thing studied. The thing is not only what you touch, what you see; it has many other sides, many other conditions, many other relations which you cannot know until you study it from all angles. The narrow mind stays rooted in one spot; the broad mind is free, inquiring, unprejudiced; it seeks to learn both sides of the story. 6. EXPERIMENT The world honors the man who is eager to plant new seeds of study today so he may harvest a fresh crop of knowledge tomorrow. The world is sick of the man who is always harking back to the past and thinks everything worth knowing has already been learned. Respect the past, take what it offers, but dont live in it. The greatest experiment is nearly always a solo. The individual, seeking to learn, tries something new but only tries it on himself. If he fails, he has hurt only himself. If he succeeds he has made a discovery many people can use. Experiment only with your own time, your own money, your own labor. Thats the honest, sincere type of experiment. Its rich. 7. TEACH If you would have knowledge, knowledge sure and sound, teach. Teach your children, teach your associates, teach your friends. In the very act of teaching, you will learn far more than your best pupil. Knowledge is relative; you possess it in degrees. You know more about reading, writing, and arithmetic than your young child. But teach that child at every opportunity; try to pass on to him all you know, and the very attempt will produce a great deal more knowledge inside your own brain.

8. READ

From time immemorial it has been commonly understood that the best way to acquire knowledge was to read. That is not true. Reading is only one way to knowledge, and in the writers opinion, not the best way. But you can surely learn from reading if you read in the proper manner. What you read is important, but not all important. How you read is the main consideration. For if you know how to read, theres a world of education even in the newspapers, the magazines, on a single billboard or a stray advertising dodger. The secret of good reading is this: read critically! 9. WRITE To know it write it! If youre writing to explain, youre explaining it to yourself! If youre writing to inspire, youre inspiring yourself! If youre writing to record, youre recording it on your own memory. How often you have written something down in order to be sure you would have a record of it, only to find that you never needed the written record because you had learned it by heart! The men of the best memories are those who make notes, who write things down. They just dont write to remember, they write to learn. And because they DO learn by writing, they seldom need to consult their notes, they have brilliant, amazing memories. How different from the glib, slipshod individual who is too proud or too lazy to write, who trusts everything to memory, forgets so easily, and possesses so little real knowledge. Write! Writing, to knowledge, is a certified check. You know what you know once you have written it down! 10. LISTEN You have a pair of ears use them! When the other man talks, give him a chance. Pay attention. If you listen you may hear something useful to you. If you listen you may receive a warning that is worth following. If you listen, you may earn the respect of those whose respect you prize. Of all the ways to acquire knowledge, this way requires least effort on your part. You hardly have to do any work. You are bound to pick up information. Its easy, its surefire. 11. OBSERVE Keep your eyes open. There are things happening, all around you, all the time. The scene of events is interesting, illuminating, full of news and meaning. Its a great show an impressive parade of things worth knowing. Admission is free keep your eyes open. There are only two kinds of experience: the experience of ourselves and the experience of others. Our own experience is slow, labored, costly, and often hard to bear. The experience of others is a ready-

made set of directions on knowledge and life. Their experience is free; we need suffer none of their hardships; we may collect on all their good deeds. All we have to do is observe! 12. PUT IN ORDER Order is Heavens first law. And the only good knowledge is orderly knowledge! You must put your information and your thoughts in order before you can effectively handle your own knowledge. Otherwise you will jump around in conversation like a grasshopper, your arguments will be confused and distributed, your brain will be in a dizzy whirl all the time. 13. DEFINE A definition is a statement about a thing which includes everything the thing is and excludes everything it is not. A definition of a chair must include every chair, whether it be kitchen chair, a high chair, a dentists chair, or the electric chair, It must exclude everything which isnt a chair, even those things which come close, such as a stool, a bench, a sofa. I am sorry to state that until you can so define chair or door (or a thousand other everyday familiar objects)you dont really know what these things are. You have the ability to recognize them and describe them but you cant tell what their nature is. Your knowledge is not exact. 14. REASON Animals have knowledge. But only men can reason. The process by which you reason is known as logic. Logic teaches you how to derive a previously unknown truth from the facts already at hand. Logic teaches you how to be sure whether what you think is true is really true. Logic is the supreme avenue to intellectual truth. Dont ever despair of possessing a logical mind. You dont have to study it for years, read books and digest a mountain of data. All you have to remember is one word compare. Compare all points in a proposition. Note the similarity that tells you something new. Note the difference that tells you something new. Then take the new things youve found and check them against established laws or principles. This is logic. This is reason. This is knowledge in its highest form.