The World Favors Those Who Learn

Last week, I wrote about advancing in a world of uncertainty. While the world is no less certain this week, I have been thinking a lot more about education. Education is usually top of mind for me, but recently has become a recurring topic at work and home.

usebraindiagramHere are some takeaways I wanted to share with you:
> Every morning, I try to read a passage from Seneca. It goes like this, “In a single day there lies open to men of learning more than ever does to the  unenlightened in the longest of lifetimes.” Please note: Seneca lived during the Roman Empire and forgot to add that women are an important part of learning and should be included here.

> I just added “learn each day” to my list of daily work activities and reminders. I also tried to get more specific by including, “Learn each day…something new, something deeper and something through doing.”

> I realized three of perhaps the most important drivers of an education are to: 1) be open to it; 2) create an environment or culture for it; 3) be active in it.

> I watched, and would recommend you watch, the independent film Captain Fantastic. If you do, I believe you will realize the importance of being open to all forms of an education. Learning comes in a lot of different shapes, sizes and sources. The movie also showed me the pitfalls* of learning in isolation and reinforced the need for education to be interactive, dynamic and applicable. It also drove home how education should never be mutually exclusive; it should always be inclusive and beneficial. And, when learning interacts with real-world cultures, it should be directed toward those environments. If it’s not much valuable knowledge can get lost.

I realize a lot people and institutions have many opinions and differing ways to go about providing an education, which I greatly respect. What I try to instill in the reader is a sense of ownership, value and understanding in getting their education. I have always tried emphasizing to both of my children how education is a two-way street. They must go out and get an education in addition to receiving one.

* By chance, when I Googled the definition of “pitfall’; it returned the example, “home schooling has its pitfalls”. Take it for whatever it’s worth to you. I have included the notation here because I pay attention to serendipity.

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