Use Your Knowledge

On Being a Modern Gentleman:

Guideline 11: Use Your Knowledge

Whew, what a hectic weekend. I had yet to schedule postings for the 12th or for today, so I’m a little behind. I’ll be posting one blog, “K”, right now, and I’ll post “L” later this evening. 

I’ve been a fan of Mike Rowe for some time and enjoyed his look at less “respectable” or desirable jobs on Discovery’s “Dirty Jobs,” but I’m a much bigger fan now. Rowe, after leaving “Dirty Jobs” created the mikeroweWORKS foundation and Profoundly Disconnected in order to promote skilled labor, hard work,  and trade schools. Rowe has appeared before Congress, Letterman, Maher, and other talking heads to promote, in my mind, getting your hands dirty. He often tells interviewers that mikeroweWORKS is partly a reaction to a poster that he beheld while in school, one that many of us saw in the counselor’s office when considering post-graduation options: “Work Smart, Not Hard.” Rowe created his own poster and displays it proudly on his website, at his interviews, and, occasionally, on his t-shirt: “Work Smart, Not And Hard.”

Guideline 11 for being a modern gentleman is similar: Use Your Knowledge. It doesn’t matter how much you know about furniture, literature, Slavic history, fashion, etc. if you do nothing with it. A modern gentleman isn’t a repository of trivia, a modern gentleman is a person of action.

Sure, some of us are knowledgeable in areas that don’t lend themselves towards doing, so start telling. If you can’t make something out of your specialty, then teach others about it. Start a blog, a club. Write an essay about it, and publish it in a journal or your local press. If your knowledge can be used, find a way to use your knowledge in the workplace. Start a side-hustle if your area of interest can lead to a physical product. There is nothing more useless than a skill (and special knowledge of a topic is a skill) not being put to use.

For a modern gentleman, being smart isn’t enough. You aren’t a pedant, you are a scholar.  And scholars and gentleman “work smart and hard.”


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