Have you ever found the process of learning to be enjoyable or fun?
How often do you experience curiosity or wonder?
Do many subjects or topics interest you?
Are you open to learning new things?
Did you think when you finished school (years or decades ago) that you were done learning?
If our education system could make learning fun for young pupils, I think that would go a long way to improving the pupils’ academic performance and their ability to retain or remember what they learned.
But, learning is not just for school.
There is a joy to consciously satisfying one’s curiosity through experiences, and through taking courses in school, and by reading up on various subjects, and by discussions with one’s family, friends and co-workers. A person can broaden their perspective by broadening the range of subjects he or she knows at least a little about.
But, first you have to be curious, you have to be interested in something. You have to feel wonder, and the excitement that comes with the anticipation of finding out about the object of your curiosity. That object can be an activity or a place or a historical person, etc. And, you have to act on that curiosity. Perhaps, there is a certain zen in feeling wonder and in learning.
Some will say that we humans often are learning (through the act of living, through our experiences) even when we are not consciously aware of it. That makes sense. As well, there are individual differences when it comes to reflecting upon one’s experiences.
But, if you are not learning, not growing, perhaps you are not fully alive.
Consider the fruits of learning, even of someone else’s learning! For example, you flip a switch in your home or office and the lights come on. Individuals that had an interest in electricity learned how to harness it and put it to so many uses. Your electric lights are one such use of electricity. Obviously, there are countless other examples in all fields of endeavor from the collective experience of mankind.
For me, I have always enjoyed learning and have been interested in many diverse subjects throughout my life. I have not wearied of learning, at least not yet. (I am not saying that there were not courses in college I struggled, suffered through such as statistics and calculus.) And, one thing I have learned for sure is that there is a terribly large amount of things that I do not know. Thus, learning to me is an ongoing, continuing process.
As a young child, I would go into the backyard after dinner in the summer and try, in the oncoming twilight, to catch bees in a small plastic container. I was not successful catching any and thus avoided being stung by them. But, I wondered about these little flying creatures that hovered above and around some of the plants in our yard.
Be open to learning – it is a life long process and one that is never complete. Enjoy it.
Let yourself wonder and enjoy that, too. One can feel awe about many things in our lives and in this universe.
It is only ignorant (and rigid) people who feel they know so much or know all that is important to know, all that is worth knowing. In fact, one could define ignorance as a person being unaware of just what he/she is unaware of. (Think about that for a moment.) Hence, the Chinese proverb: A man who knows he is a fool, is not a great fool.
A little humility can open a person up to a wider, richer, and deeper view of life and the world.
Our feature photograph is of an evening at sunset in the western, residential area of San Francisco.
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