I can safely say that life is all about learning and growing into the person you were created to be. You can learn from anyone be it a child or a passerby depending on the situation you find yourself in. The famous inspirational poem entitled Desideranta( 1920) by Max Ehrmann says that : listen to the other; even the dull and ignorant , they too have their story. In the same breath , Ehrmann advises us to take kindly to the counsel of years.
Stories are told to teach us something about life. The wisest among us are humble enough to trust and learn from the mistakes and failures of others.
Our first teachers are our parents then the family and the community around us. The Bible tells us that God teaches us letter by letter, line by line and lesson by lesson. He does this through the experiences we go through : the victories and joys, the struggles and sorrows and the failures and disappointments. You can move to the next level only after passing the lesson from the experience or else you keep going through the a cycle. It is said that Knowledge is power. I would add that knowledge is power if you apply it to your life to grow and develop. What you learn should help you to make better, informed choices and improve your life – find deep meaning to life. You should enjoy life more and live a fulfilled life.
Science tells us that the human brain forgets 10% of what it has learned each year. Naturally, by the end of five years it would have forgotten 50% of what it had learned.
Even the Bible tells us in the Proverbs, that when you stop learning, you neglect what you even know.
Socrates (471BC- 399BC) the classical Greek philosopher and one of the founders of Western Philosophy admitted his ignorance for he realised that the more he learned, the more he found out that he did know anything. So he promised himself that as long as he still had life and strength he would keep learning and keep teaching others for the well being of society. One of his famous quotations says: “Admit ignorance to free yourself to learn.”
In this day and time of the 3rd Industrial Revolution – the Digital era; Alvin Toffle a sociologist and writer said ” The illiterates of the 21 st century will not be those who cannot read and write , but those who cannot learn , unlearn and relearn.”
In this Digital era ; information is freely available – ‘Simply Google it’ . Information changes fast and requires us to keep reading and learning.
We have to learn new things , unlearn old things and habits that have been overtaken by time, age and relearn to polish up what we already know. One verse in the Bible spells it out clearly to us.
“When I was a child , my speech, feelings and thinking were all those of a child; now that I have grown up , I have no more use for childish ways.”
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) the renown English Biologist and Scientist confirmed this when he said ” It is not the strongest of the species that survive, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to the changes.”
You have to keep your mind and heart open to learn and grow into your full potential and to remain relevant.
To learn, one has to listen- with your ears and heart. You listen not to reply but to understand. Understanding is an integral part of wisdom. when you understand, you do better.
Essentially,we learn by hearing, seeing and doing. We learn most by doing. This has reminded me of the popular Chinese quote often attributed to Confucius: ” I hear and forget. I see and remember. I do and understand.” Simply put hearing is not as good as seeing , seeing is not as good as knowing, knowing is not as good as acting; true learning continues until it is put in action.
Once I have learned something , I am given the inherent responsibility to teach others. It is for my own good and for the good of others.
Keep seeking for knowledge, keep listening, keep learning, keep doing things and keep teaching others for life.
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I have no doubt that this Blog will turn into a ‘Double currency’ for the two of us: enriching you the reader and myself ; the writer.