From one of the books featured in The WBLK Know Thyself Book Club, “Know Thyself” by Na’Im Akbar an analogy that we may use for today’s topic is that of a lower animal like a dog gives us an idea of the difference between training and education. The dog that learns how to bark to scare away its enemies (predators), to defend itself by biting its attackers and to hunt and to feed itself is an educated dog. The dog that learns how to stand on its hind legs and wear a dress and dance to the music of its trainer is actually a trained dog. Despite how impressive the dancing dog may appear to the human observer; this dog has been trained away from its nature. Dogs in their natural element don’t wear dresses and dance on their hind legs when a human provides appropriate music. Though the dog’s behavior results in obtaining food and care from a master, it does not afford the dog the ability to care for itself. Such a dog is what Dr. Woodson describes as being mis-educated because the dog can perform at someone’s command but it cannot effectively command itself to do what is required for its life and enhancement.

People who are trained and conditioned can only serve those educated people who were their trainers. Like the little performing dog, they will only be able to serve their masters and not take care of themselves.