Short essay on A Little Learning is a Dangerous Thing

Short essay on A Little Learning is a Dangerous Thing (free to read). These words by Alexander Pope are full of meaning. As a general rule, learning must not be a dangerous thing.

As Horace Mann says, “A human being is not in any proper sense a human being till he is educated.” But a little learning becomes a dangerous thing when it is applied to real life as a substitute for perfect learning.

Take the medical line. If a doctor has not got a proper degree through hard and dedicated work, he can prove a nuisance to society. He can kill more people than he can save. The bridges, buildings and dams built by an engineer with imperfect knowledge of his subject will collapse sooner rather than later. A teacher who is not a master of his subject will only misguide his students.

The modern age is an age of specialization. In every field, we need specialists who can guide us better. But, unfortunately, there are also many quacks. Many unskilled people are cunning enough to masquerade as specialists. The credulous people are duped by them. We must try to distinguish between the real and fictitious specialists and try to beware of the latter species.

A man with real and deep knowledge is generally sober and humble. He is not interested in giving himself airs and indulg­ing in cheap publicity. He believes in con­structive work. It is not his motto to make an easy buck. But a man of shallow knowledge shows himself off. He is always after one or the other victim. He may wear artificial smiles and gaudy or holy clothes. But sooner or later he gets exposed. He can cause great harm to society.

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