Is Knowledge really a virtue preferred over Money?

Keerthana K
3 min readMay 10, 2020


Knowledge Vs Money- which is superior?

Ofcourse it is knowledge. Knowledge is above all. It is what keeps the world moving and enables the human civilisation move forward. If it is not for the insatiable quest for knowledge, we would have never reached the moon or have made any of the discoveries and inventions which supposedly puts human beings at the top of the animal pyramid as humans would like to believe.

But is it really true?

We all know of someone who has been intellectually more brilliant than the rest in our school days and college, someone who gets to the root of concepts, reads more than just the course books and has shined intellectually. But as years passed, many of his peers have outperformed him in their career, have made a lot of money, fit the society’s definition of ‘success’and are enjoying and living a far more comfortable life. They might not have read a lot of books, might not have thoughts or opinions different than the general popular opinion of the masses, might be literate but not educated enough, but they happily lead a good life! So who is really having it better?

Knowledge drives money. When you pursue knowledge, money follows some would say- But does it really? I’m not talking about human beings with superhuman intelligence- I am talking about the average human being although even otherwise history is evidence that most of the scientists and intellects have struggled financially all their lives, many inventions have earned them accolades only posthumously. The entire life of a scientist is sacrificed for that one breakthrough, university departments competing for funding and pitching their ideas to be the next big thing in order to keep their research alive. We also conveniently forget thousands of those whose names are lost (in or never made it to) the pages of Mankind’s Greatness, for they might have dedicated their entire lives in the quest for knowledge and yet might not have been successful in discovering anything significant to the humankind.

The big companies- the tech giants- the Bill Gates and Elon Musks of the world- are they not both highly intelligent and powerfully wealthy at the same time?- Yes they are- They seemed to have hit the right balance,quenching their intellectual thirst while successfully monetising it. But it is also true that such cases are few and far in between. Despite being outliers, that seems to be the benchmark one should aim for in today’s world- carefully treading the path between knowledge and monetary wealth, never moving too far away nor drowning in only one of these virtues at any one point of time. Hitting this exceptional balance is as difficult and rare as it sounds but only by setting very high standards can one dream of someday achieving it. Even extremely talented people like Leonardo da Vinci had to monetise his work, making military contributions and be genial in the royal court so as to attract the attention of royal patrons like Ludovic Sforzo, to carry forward the work which interested him.

Oh but ofcourse- he again is the most exceptional human being known to mankind- A real outlier.