Sunday, November 1, 2020

It Is Important To Always Be Learning

The embarrassment of being one of those people that could be described as a "know it all" around the age of twenty should haunt me but I have learned from it. Thinking you have it all figured out at an early age will most likely leave you surprised as you move forward in life. Time will probably teach you that you still have a lot to learn. Life is a learning experience and one that is generally full of humbling surprises. As the ground continually shifts below us we often find ourselves on unexpected paths that become our life.

Smartphones Don't Make People Smart

Sadly, many people do not understand the importance of continually learning and staying engaged in life. This explains why some people seldom or never pick up a book, stay current with news events, or read. A mind that is not exercised becomes weak and feeble. Such a mind slowly loses the ability to question what it is told creating a situation where it can be manipulated by propaganda.

Society has not placed continued learning as a priority on its list of values. The philosophical question of why we are here has been pushed away and replaced with what could be considered superficial concerns. An example of this can be seen as people go through life solidly attached to their cell phones, or rather smartphones which links them to everything and then some.

I'm constantly appalled by how much I learn each day and how this knowledge sheds light on all I don't know. These new lessons tend to lead me to ask even more questions. Each sheds more light upon what we still have to learn. Because of the type of work I do, rather than assuming the person I'm talking to knows about what is involved in fixing this or that I often ask if they know much about a certain subject, usually the answer is no.

Decades ago I read a book by Anthony Robbins, a well-known self-improvement guru, In the book Robbins promoted an idea he called CANI. This stands for Constant And Never-ending Improvement. This is a concept that I have adopted and strongly recommend. It is rooted in committing to seeking small incremental improvements in your life each day that will allow you to grow in all areas of your life. The part of  moving forward that is based on the importance of knowledge and experience can not be underestimated.

Something Here Is Not Right

Today we are blessed with many sources from which we can get information. The internet, while often frustrating because of its tendency to drop us into a "same info loop," is a wellspring of knowledge. A great number of videos on how to do repairs as well as charts and figures are readily available. While they don't always answer the questions we seek, the information can still point us in the right direction.

As to the importance of knowledge and experience, it saddens me greatly that it is so difficult to pass on and that each day as people die it is simply lost. It is also ironic that we as a society seem in such a hurry to pass off the responsibility of making decisions to the young inexperienced and unproven simply because they have a degree from some institution of learning. 

Another problem we face is that with so many experts specializing in a certain field of their profession is that many lack valuable cross-training. This leaves large gaps in what they know and how it fits into the larger picture of the world around them The ability to look back at all the things we have done wrong and our failures is often one of the best ways to learn. One last thought, to quote a Guinean proverb, "Knowledge without wisdom is like water in the sand." For now, that is all I have to say about that.

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