Some learning can never happen inside a classroom

We often place undue emphasis on book intelligence. Those with degrees from the most prestigious academies often receive the best jobs with the highest pay. These people are more respected. When we learn that someone graduated from certain colleges or universities that are ranked highly, we are instantly impressed.We are impressed because we automatically translate that degree from a prestigious school with high intelligence – and we should be because being accepted to and then graduating from top universities is an admirable accomplishment.

However, we often stress book smarts over life learning. By life learning, I mean experiences gained simply through living life, meeting new people, traveling and discussion ideas.

These acts make us well-rounded individuals and we learn from other people and places things that we can never find in a book.

There are so many highly successful people who either never finished their formal higher education or never received any at all. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple and considered to be one of the most innovative minds of our time, attended college for just six months.

Jobs dropped out of college and then spent seven months traveling India. It was after he returned that he and his friend Steve Wozniak began their journey toward founding Apple.Also from the tech world, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg are two other very famous and successful people who did not graduate from college. I am not saying that people should not attend college. Of course, higher education is a very important and valuable part of life. But we cannot undervalue what we learn outside of the classroom.

The time I spent with rural artisans taught me immeasurable things. Theirs is a life that is simple yet so rich. Weaving with rich colors and patterns, creating beautiful art and continuing an ancient craft that has been handed down from generation to generation, these artists demand so little but give us so much in return.

The inspiration I receive from the simple village weaver can never be taught, only experienced deep within the soul.

Weaver, Thinker, Doer

Nand Kishore Chaudhary (NKC)
Chairman - Managing Director,
Jaipur Rugs, Social Entrepreneur