I No Have Education. I Have Inspiration. If I Was Educated, I Would Be A Damn Fool – Bob Marley

We spend our lives getting education and jobs to make a living. However, education did not play a role in the life of every successful person who was able to make a mark in history. They had revolutionary visions which helped them to achieve their goals even without education.  Robert Nesta Marley, also known as Bob Marley in pop culture, did not have an education but with inspiration, he was able to achieve his goals. He started his career in the music industry with his childhood friends in Nine Mile.

Bob Marley

In Time Will Tell (1992), a British-Zimbabwean-American documentary biographical drama film, you can hear this quote “I no have education. I have inspiration. If I was educated, I would be a damn fool” by Bob Marley. It is from one of his previous recorded interviews but the clip was incorporated into the documentary. It begins with his life storytelling along with some of his famous songs such as I Shot The Sheriff, Zimbabwe, Redemption Song, Africa Unite, No Woman, No Cry, Ambush In The Night, etc.

Who Was Bob Marley?

Bob-Marley-in-Concert Zurich

Robert Nesta Marley OM, born on February 6, 1945, was a Jamaican songwriter, musician, and singer. He is considered one of the pioneers of reggae. Marley’s musical career was marked by the fusion of elements of rocksteady, ska, and reggae along with his distinctive compositional and vocal style. The contributions of Marley to music brought Jamaican music around the world. Moreover, he became a Rastafarian icon during his career and imbued his music with a sense of spirituality.

In 1963, Bob Marley and his friends formed the Wailing Wailer. The big break of Wailer was in 1972 when they signed a contract with Island Records. Bob Marley has sold over 75 million records throughout his career which makes him the first international superstar to emerge from the so-called Third World.

Origin of the Quote

the legend Bob Marley

The origin of this quote is from Time Will Tell which is a 1992 British-Zimbabwean-American documentary. The film is based on the life story of Robert Nesta Marley. It is composed of many taped interviews and narration from the legend Bob Marley. Time Will Tell was premiered on 28 May 1992 in the United States. Along with his life story, the film is composed of some popular songs such as:

  • One Love
  • Stir It Up
  • No Woman, No Cry
  • I Shot The Sheriff

In the documentary, you will find the source of the quote at 3 minutes and 36 seconds when Bob Marley is telling his story of early life.

Meaning Of This Quote

This quote by Bob Marley is focused on the aspect that with inspiration, one can achieve goals in their life. Here are a few of the important themes we can interpret from this quote.

Is Education The Key To Success?

Is Education The Key To Success

Bob Marley had a different view of education. It does not mean that one should not get an education. Education is the key to success because it lessens the challenges in life. However, Bob Marley had an inspiration that helped him to promote Jamaican culture and its existence to the world. If a person is having an education along with inspiration, then they can achieve their goals.

Inspiration and education are parallel to each other because it helps you to have a unique perspective of looking at life. As one of the famous quotes by Margaret Mead focuses on the uniqueness of a person. Furthermore, education helps to unite and strengthen nations and countries. However, in this quote, Bob Marley was able to make a difference because of inspiration. 

We Must Have An Inspiration

We Must Have An Inspiration

Bob Marley’s quote focuses mainly on the inspiration he had rather than education. According to Bob Marley, education cannot help one to set their goals but inspiration can. He believed in the unity of African people across the globe. According to some sources, his inspiration was the latest R&B music from the United States which was broadcasted over radio stations. When it reached Jamaica, Bob Marley got inspiration and formed a music band with his childhood friends.

Most of the songs by Bob Marley were on Pan-Africanist and Anti-Imperialist themes such as Exodus, Zimbabwe, Blackman Redemption, Survival, and Redemption Song. We all know what it feels like to be inspired. However, it can be difficult for us to know exactly what inspiration is. 

According to psychologists, inspiration is motivation from an external source that leads you to come up with an innovation, idea, or any other creativity. Bob Marley did not have any education but he had an inspiration to promote Jamaican culture, music, and identity to the world through his songs.

Do What Feels Right

Do What Feels Right

In this quote, Bob Marley highlights the fact that if he was educated, he would be a damn fool. It means if he got educated, he would have a job and prosper in his life. He might not get a chance to do what he did from his songs. As one of the famous quotes by Mae West suggests, we have the right to live our lives right but what matters is that we can leave a legacy for others to remember. 

However, without education but inspiration, he managed to make a mark in the history of the music industry. He released a lot of songs that were famous across the globe. They not only helped him to make a difference in the music industry but also achieved his goal to promote Jamaican culture. 

It does not mean that education makes a person a fool but at times a person is not having a direction towards their goals. If you want to achieve something in your life, make yourself educated and have inspiration in life.

Bob Marley – A Rastafari Icon In Pop Culture

Bob Marley caught the fever of urban music from the music band of the United States of America and he began his professional musical career in 1963. He formed the music band The Teenagers with Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh which was later changed to The Wailers. Bob Morley was a rising figure in the reggae music genre in which he spread the stories of moral failures of neighbors and the duplicity of an overloaded society. Furthermore, he advocated for Pan-Africanism and supported the legalization of marijuana.

He said this quote “I no have education. I have inspiration. If I was educated, I would be a damn fool” in one of his interviews. However, the legit source comes from a documentary Time Will Tell which consists of his previous recorded interviews and famous songs. In this quote, he says that he was successful even without education but he had an inspiration. We can assume that if he did not have any kind of inspiration, we would not have heard of Bob Marley in our lives. However, it does not mean that one should not get an education but with inspiration, one can achieve goals easily.