Living to know

As I respect the way individuals wish to live their lives, I have a few problems with people who think all their life answers can be found within the pages of books. Like Chad Puterbaugh’s column stated, I too would not listen to someone who cannot back his or her claims without logical representations [“So many arguments, so little evidence,” Sept. 28]. But are books the only way to gather information? Hardly.

Does reading one textbook in a sociology class make someone an expert on human nature? Or does gathering an opinion on the Iraq War by watching one news station, or reading one newspaper make it valid? Barely. The problem with higher education and the concept of all these general education classes, is that people think since you read that one book for whatever class, you actually know something. But when it comes down to it, you hardly know anything and are simply regurgitating the opinions produced by others.

Do we know what is going on in Iraq? We can think we do, but until we go over there and live out a few days of events, we hardly know the truth. Do we comprehend human nature by reading a book? Human nature is human nature. And until you interact with everyone in the world you will not comprehend it.

The point is, you can read all the books you want, you can study as hard as you must in all your classes. But until you get out there and try the things you are reading about and form your own opinion and not just one you read; you aren’t really living a life. You are simply facilitating an existence through those around you or through the pages of a book.

I am not denouncing the reading of books, or the use of books to gain knowledge about certain things. What I am saying is that you cannot trust anyone’s opinion of a subject until you have experienced it yourself. Ignorance is bliss and it is simply ignorant to think you can get everything you need from a book.

And I find it hypocritical that one would not advise others to live their life another way, but wrote an entire article arguing that people should live life a certain way.

Kyle J. Volenik is a senior majoring in journalism. Send responses to his column to [email protected]