Sunday, September 25, 2011

Knowledge Reigns Supreme?

This is a quote by Big L from the song, "Da Graveyard". I'm not sure how much thought he put into it or what exactly he meant, but I always found that line to be particularly interesting and poignant.

Every day, I see people at school who are obsessed with academic perfection. They study for freakishly long hours, get into heated arguments with professors about fractions of percentages on grades, and are fiercely competitive about test scores. Furthermore, they give off the vibe that a person's value is closely tied to their success (or lack thereof) in school. A person with higher grades is a rival or idol, and a person with lower grades is an unintelligent loser.

This view seems simple and narrow minded. Do these people ever stop and consider that school judges individuals in a very specific manner on very specific subjects. With such a narrow focus, it's inevitable some people will be less than perfect. Also, there are people who simply choose not to put all of their effort into that particular area.

Believe it or not, there's more to life than test scores and final grades. In most cases, education is intended merely to be a means to an end. If someone feels that they can achieve their desired end without devoting excessive amounts of time and attention to the means, does that really make them a less valuable person? Does being the best at school really make someone a more valuable person outside of the classroom?

Basically, my point is that people should chill out. Education and intelligence are important things, but they certainly are not the most or only important things. To me, "I don't have it all upstairs, but who the f--k cares?" expresses all of this in a blunt, concise package. Unfortunately, Big L died in 1999 (RIP) so I'll never hear his interpretation of the quote, but I'd like to think that he meant something along those lines.

here's the song:

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