This one is pretty self-explanatory. “Silver in the mine” is pure potential, it means nothing. Silver that is still in the earth is useless until it is dug up and refined. Having intelligence without education is like having a powerful computer with no operating system or software.

Taking this computer analogy a little further, “genius” is the hardware–the ability to think, not the thought itself. Education, is wisdom. And while life experience can be the most powerful teacher (education), wisdom is learning from others’ life experiences so you don’t have to!

More from Poor Richard:
“An ounce of wit that is bought, is worth a pound that is taught.”
“Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”
“Experience keeps a dear school, yet fools will learn in no other.”