This series is an alphabetical exploration of 26 options for living well, despite everything. It answers the question–How can we live well, despite problems?
The word University, comes from Latin and stems from Universe; indicating the whole, the entire, everything.
U is for University: Learn Everything You Can!
I’m convinced that becoming a life-long learner is one of the wisest, most rewarding things anyone could ever do with her life.
We humans are born naturally curious. We’re hardwired to enjoy learning. Satisfying our curiosity through exploration and discovery is a joyous endeavor.
Consider healthy young children, how they investigate every sound, every flash, breeze, sensation, color and twinkle. Why? Because new experiences and surprises are inherently delightful.
What does the world look like upside down? What does it feel like when I roll down a hill? What if I try to run up the hill when I’m dizzy?
We quest to find answers to the questions that puzzle and intrigue us; the joy of discovery naturally follows.
Unfortunately, most of us have at least a few unpleasant, uncomfortable memories of learning. We may be scarred, scared, or intimidated. We may shy away from subjects we would like to know about, because we have been led to believe we are incapable of understanding certain subjects.
How can we reclaim our birthright as joyous discoverers of knowledge and wisdom?
- We can make a commitment to learning.
- We can seek out mentors and humble ourselves to ask questions, to listen, and to imitate.
- We can persevere; working diligently until we get it.
- We can choose to see mistakes not as failures, but as opportunities to learn.
- We can accept constructive feedback and learn from it,
- but we should shrug off stupid criticism, motivated by envy or enmity.
- We can learn to recognize the difference between people who want to help us grow, and those who want to diminish us.
- We can choose to experience life rather than merely watching it.
- We can read. (Reading is inherently participatory).
- We can be fascinated, not intimidated, by people who possess knowledge, and we can surround ourselves with other, interesting, lifelong learners.
- We can grow into our best selves.
It comforts me to know that the power to grow is inherent in the joy of discovery. The thrill of learning springs from our inborn, natural curiosity. But that power must be nurtured and cultivated to prevent it from withering.
Learning begets learning.
One of the subjects I’m studying right now, which is giving me great joy, is gardening and landscaping. (I’ve started a new blog about it: you can click here for more information about that).
What are you enjoying learning these days?