“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” – Kofi Annan
The popular saying “knowledge is power” speaks to me because I believe this statement to be very true. Knowledge is one of the most powerful tools humanity has. It creates progress, helps make informed decisions, and acts as a guide for the future. I’d argue that knowledge combined with hard work can make anything possible.
So, if knowledge is vital to success, how does one gain it? While I’m sure there are various ways, I find a few necessary—education, experience, and people.
One of the most traditional ways to gain knowledge is through education. Education fosters learning, whether in elementary school, high school, college, or any other form of schooling.
We’ve recently expanded our curriculum portfolio with our partners at the Guy Harvey Foundation and Ocean First Education—creating a tailored curriculum for grades K-5 and a community and schoolwide module. This curriculum focuses on expanding students’ knowledge of the importance of plastic and the drawbacks associated with its production and use, and how cutting-edge science and technology are leading the way for a mindset shift from plastic as a waste to plastic as a resource. The goal is for students to educate their peers about plastics and new technologies that reduce the environmental impacts of plastics.
I believe this type of education is pivotal knowledge for current and future generations. It will help address society’s environmental challenges to create a brighter tomorrow.
I believe experience is one of the best teachers. You can earn vast amounts of knowledge simply through the experiences you endure. I’ve talked frequently about my grandmother and how impactful my experiences with her have been—an integral part of shaping my environmental stewardship. I’ve been blessed to enjoy various rewarding experiences throughout my life and career. At Brightmark, we’re fortunate to have partners that promote environmental stewardship daily. Whether enjoying a marine debris dive with NOAA’s Florida Key’s National Marine Sanctuary or putting waste to work with our farmer partners, these experiences have further instilled in me the goal of creating a world without waste. Through these experiences, I have gained significant knowledge on protecting the environment.
Whatever experiences present themselves, I encourage you to embrace them—it could be one of the best knowledge-gaining opportunities.
Extraordinary experiences are the result of exceptional people. Much like our partners, some of my best experiences have been with the people I surround myself with—family, friends, and wonderful colleagues. The gang here at Brightmark has taught me so much, and I am constantly learning more from them every day. I say: learn from the people around you; it will be some of the best knowledge you may ever absorb.
These three points are how I have gained knowledge over the years. However, I’m confident there are limitless ways to acquire it. And the best part? Knowledge is infinite. There’s always more to be discovered. You simply need to remember that knowledge is power, and knowledge is the future.