Back in the mid-1950s, our parents bought my sisters and me the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Book of Knowledge. I was about 7 years old and my sisters were about 5 and 3.
I believe there were 30 volumes in the Encyclopedia Britannica and 20 volumes of the Book of Knowledge.
We were budding book worms; the Book of Knowledge was written for students so it became a favorite.
I would pick a volume of any of these books and randomly look through it in search of anything that caught my attention. It was as close as I could come to browsing the Internet since there was no browser and no Internet.
Volume four of the Book of Knowledge showed that it was opened frequently because it had a favorite poem called The Moo Cow Moo that would cause me to double up in laughter.
Years later, I don’t believe either of these reference books are being printed and if you want to buy a set, visit a local thrift store.
We thought we had a lot of information available to us then, but it doesn’t compare to what is available now in the devices we carry in our hands and pockets.
When was the last time you were searching for information and reached for a book that was titled, “Index?”
We now have so much information available in mere seconds that there is no comparison to what my family had sitting on three book shelves.
But for all the information we had then and the immeasurable amount we have now, there is still a volume missing, be it in print or online.
The book has never been available even though it is badly needed.
The missing book or searching for it by computer would be titled the “Book of Insight.”
As useful as knowledge is, it has no value until insight is used to discover, teach, or create.
I know people who have a great comprehension of the facts, but fall short when applying the facts to gain insight.
And there are people who always seem to know the right thing at the right time who were not known as in school as A or even B students.
I believe the Book of Insight is located in the library of the School of Hard Knocks.
Like any school, the School of Hard Knocks has quick learners and those who just never seem to catch on.
The quick learners have a distinct advantage as they write their own Book of Insight.
It belongs to one person, but is usually a collaborative effort by the individual and the people around that person.
The Book of Insight cannot be bought or sold as the valuable parts have usually come at a high price.
Oh yes, do a search of the Internet for the Moo Cow Moo. For maximum enjoyment find a person whose age is in the single digits and read it to them (especially if they are familiar with cattle) or have them read it to you.
I just read it again. You can’t go wrong with the classics.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at email@example.com.
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