During the first World War, a Chicago newspaperman published certain editorials in which, among other statements, Henry Ford was called “an ignorant pacifist.” Mr. Ford objected to the statements, and brought suit against the paper for libeling him. When the suit was tried in the courts, the attorneys for the paper pleaded justification, and placed Mr. Ford, himself, on the witness stand, for the purpose of proving to the jury that he was ignorant.
The attorneys asked Mr. Ford a great variety of questions, all of them intended to prove, by his own evidence that, while he may posses considerable specialized knowledge pertaining to the manufacture of automobiles, he was, in the main, ignorant. Mr. Ford was plied with such questions as the following: “Who was Benedict Arnold?” and “How many soldiers did the British send over to America to put down the Rebellion of 1776?” In answer to the last question, Mr. Ford replied, “I do not know the exact number of soldiers the British sent over, but I have heard that it was a considerably larger number than ever went back.”
Finally, Mr. Ford became tired of this line of questioning, and in reply to a particularly offensive question, he leaned over, pointed his finger at the lawyer who had asked the question and Said, “If I should really want to answer the foolish question you have just asked, or any of the other questions you have been asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men who can answer any question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts. Now, will you kindly tell me, why I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?”
There certainly was good logic to that reply.
That answer floored the lawyer. Every person in the courtroom realized it was the answer, not of an ignorant man, but of a man of education. Any man is educated who knows where to get knowledge when he needs it, and how to organize it that knowledge into definite plans of action. Through the assistance of his “Master Mind” group Henry Ford had at his command all the specialized knowledge he needed to enable him to become one of the wealthiest men in America. It was not essential that he have this knowledge in his own mind.
You Can Get All the Knowledge You Need.
From “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill