The scope of general knowledge is so wide because of a mysterious nature lies around us with all its phenomenon wide open. There are the earth, the blue sky, the sun, the moon, the stars, high mountains, deep seas, wide plains, vast deserts, green trees, animals, birds and many more things. It is of course a boundless and fascinating universe, and most of us know little about it.
Man loves to discover strange and unusual things. The right place for these discoveries is nature. Nature is not only stranger than fiction but there is no end in the variation of the weird facts to be uncovered in the this universe, the heavenly bodies, the earth, insects, animals, birds, plants, fish, spiders, and geology.
Light travels at a speed of about 186000 miles per second and it takes about 8 1/2 minutes to reach from the sun to earth. Travelling on beyond the confines of the solar system, it takes about four light years, corresponding to a distance of about twenty five million years to reach the nearest known star. The distance of the star nearest to earth at the present known is 2,60,000 times the distance from the sun to the earth. The smallness of the apparent size of the stars is due solely to their great distances.
The sun mass is 3,32,000 times that of our earth and its volume more than a million times. A train moving at 60 miles per hour day and night would take over five years to traverse its circumstances.
Importance of general knowledge
Our curiosity and urge to study and understand nature increases when we learn of a fish that fights its way upstream for one thousand miles without any food, of an ocean bird which lies on fish but cannot swim, and world drown when it alights on water, of plants which live underwater at a very blink of the Nigeria falls, of a fish that cannot swim, of an animal that sleeps seven months each year to get more sun shine etc. This curiosity of man pushes him study general knowledge as much as he can.
There are many curious things about man achievements made in science. He can talk to persons from as far a distance as he may choose, can sour high above the clouds, can observe distant things as clearly as anything and so on. The progress made by him in other fields, politics, economics, literature, war peace etc presents a wide ground for study for a common man.
Knowledge is as vast as the universe itself. In its limited sense it is applied in the perception of a thing; in its broader sense to the full understanding and comprehension of a thing. What a man know of the world is known to him by the events in his own life, events which but for power of thoughts would have remained merely a secret.
All the immensities of the space and all the abysses of time are mirrored in his thoughts. Nothing is too great or too small for his intellect to compound, nothing is too distant in time or space for him to assign to it its due weight to structure of its cosmos. In power he is nearly as feeble as his minuteness suggests, but in comprehension he is boundless, and the equal of all that, he can understand.
The ordinary man in order to equip himself to wage the battle of life successfully must know something about what lies around him, about various branches of knowledge, for the same reason that the astronomer, even if his eyes are fixed at higher things, must know about his shoes. The reason is that these matters affect his life. A general conception of things (common sense) helps one in every walk of life- in the battle field, at desk in the offices, at business counters, etc. An all round (general) knowledge of things develops originally and quickness of understanding and creates an alert and conscious mind.
It is rather unfortunate that the existing set up of our education does not provide adequately for general knowledge. It is very often that graduates of our universities know little beyond their own subject of study. As a matter of fact, our system of education was designed by our late rulers (the British), to manufacture clerks to carry on the routine work in government offices. Accordingly the basis of our education was merely rudimentary-nothing beyond what was absolutely necessary to give the British cheaper clerks in comparison to the white-skinned man who had to be “imported at a very high price”. It will take time to bring the system of our education to the same level as that of other free and developed nations of the world.