Recently, we had a clinic at our archery club. The intention was to teach our archers something about the basic knowledge of archery, but also about the materials used. They also could make their own string and arrow.
All in all, it was a succesful day. The archers, mainly students, were very enthusiastic. They learned something new, or they dug deeper into the subject of archery. Very important, because today’s world lacks deep knowledge. This is for specialists only, and usually they are not willing to share knowledge voluntarily for several reasons. What specialists do sometimes not understand, is that they are specialists for more than one reason. Most important reasons are interest and time spent.
I think that sharing knowledge and to train new specialists is important. When the current specialists pass away, knowledge has to be transferred already. To make sure that the next generations can profit from this knowledge. To keep your knowledge to yourself is not only selfish, but also very dumb. I am not saying that you cannot make a living from your knowledge. After all, you have spent time and effort yourself to gain it. And some fields of knowledge are sometimes not for sharing in public at all, but I think you will not boast about having this knowledge anyway.
On the other hand, to share practical knowledge is what makes the world go round. We don’t have to invent the wheel over and over again. We don’t have to invent the combustion engine over and over again. We can enjoy slices of freshly baked bread, even though baking it without a specialist machine is getting harder and harder. Sharing knowledge makes our culture, it gives us our identity. It improves our lives and makes us able to choose wisely.
Because a lot of practical skills dissapear, schools in The Netherlands start experiments again. With the guild-principle. A master-student relationship on a quite personal level, so the deep knowledge can be transferred from master to student again. Because there are skills which cannot be learnt at school. One needs a real-life setting to finetune the already learned, broad skills. Transferring real life knowledge and fine tuned skills has become important again.
Sharing knowledge about how to make an arrow or a bowstring may not seem too important, when meat is to be bought in the supermarket. Gaining knowledge is usually bound to school or university. But archery is still a skill, it is a sport, it enhances the feeling of belonging and most important: it is fun. Just as sharing knowledge should be.