Lessons Everywhere – the comparative value of knowledge10/05/2012
I changed a tyre today. It wasn’t my tyre. It belonged to an Egyptian vet, well he said he was egyptian and the back of his car was full of needles and drugs for camels so I assumed that was his occupation. He waved me down on the road, 1 hour from the border with Iraq . When I stopped and asked what the problem was the message that got transferred to me in a mix of Arabic and English was that he had a flat tyre and had no jack or tools to change it. No problems. I could help. So I reversed up and proceeded to take my jack and wheel wrench from my car and together we set about to change his tyre. Then I discovered that his wheel nuts where smaller than the wrench I had… problem. I thought to myself: “This is a new car. Why is there no jack and wrench?” So I went around the back and sure enough, in a side panel was the requred tools my friend thought was missing, with of course the correct size wheel lug. In a matter of minutes the tyre was changed and all was good. Driving away I looked at the outside temperature – 42 degrees C – and it occurred to me how valuable a little knowledge was: something that I took for granted could save another man’s life. Assuming that there was no one else on the road, he would have died simple because he didn’t know where to look. And I did. What is that worth? How much does someone know that is given away, without the acknowledgement of that value. It was a valuable lesson.