Received a rather sad piece of news today, an ex colleague of mine passed away yesterday. It was sudden and he was young. Apparently he discovered he had cancer just a few weeks back, and was called back by our creator before he even had an opportunity to battle it. As always, when someone we know passes away, most of us will reflect upon how short and fragile life can be, and how we should make the full use of it. We probably tell ourselves and our love ones – “Life is too short, we should start prioritizing and making everyday fulfilling”. Yet, we probably only keep that in mind for a week, tops. Then we slumped back into our usual routine, the corporate rat race, the mountain of bills, the pressure of keeping up to normalcy of the society – ie: getting married, having kids, bigger house, bigger car.. etc
Today’s make me wonder shall be about how we should make everyday count and learning never truly stops… EVER.
You couldn’t be more wrong if you think that since you’ve left your alma mater for good ages ago, the process of learning is finally over. The pursuit of knowledge needs to remain alive through a person’s entire lifespan. We should all perceive it as – we started our learning process as soon as our bare naked bottoms are smacked hard by the doctors. We let out a super shrill wail and struggled to open our teeny eyes. We have arrived…. at this strange world, with lots to discover. We learnt to use our sight, to see the people and things around us. We moved our fingers and toes, and was probably puzzled by how strange they look. We learnt to wriggle them a little, we learnt to wave our arms, we learnt to grip tightly at any offered thumb, we then learnt to crawl, walk, speak, etc.
Then, we go to school. We learnt how to hold a pencil, how to write, how to speak in public, how to debate and even how to lie. Then we learn the heavy stuff like history, languages, geography, science, etc. We do all we can to get good grades, and frame that piece of paper up on the wall whilst our parents smiled proudly at it.
And then, we just stopped.
I dare say, there are some of my classmates, upon graduating, never did pick up and read another book again. Ever.
Can we ever stop learning? I don’t think so. I don’t think we should allow that.
Here are some ways I figured would ensure we don’t break the habit of learning, a habit that most people abandon after graduation.
I’m trying to do all of them this year – late 2011 resolution: MUST do one of the below to learn something every day!
Travel once a quarter
Anywhere, as long as it’s out of the 50km radius of home!
Starting some “voluntourism” work, starting with this quaint lil village of Udaipur, India.
(visit http://www.daanfoundation.org/ and join their fb site: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10150097588920314)
Guinea Pig & I, along with another 6 friends will be making a trip to India in June. Will come back with more info of this foundation then.
Take up a new hobby
On a hunt for one! Any suggestions? Pls don’t say knitting.
Targeting at least 2 books a month? Any book.
Read the newspaper
Once a week! Should be reading it every day, but am being realistic here.
Let’s hope I can keep this up. Easier said than done. I know.
Will make it a habit to repeat this post as often as I can. Repetition is sometimes not a bad thing at all.
Was just thinking to myself last Sunday in church, our Pastor Joshua always preach the same things! After reading this… I’ll never make that remark again. J
Juan always attended Sunday services at his parish. But then he began to find that the pastor always said the same things, so he stopped going to church.
On a cold winter’s night two months later, the pastor paid him a visit.
“He must have come to try to convince me to go back,” Juan thought to himself. He imagined he could not tell the real reason: those boring sermons. He had to find an excuse, and as he was thinking he pulled two chairs up close to the hearth and began talking about the weather.
The pastor said nothing. Juan, after some vain attempts to start up a conversation, sat in silence too. They both sat there without speaking, just looking at the fire for close to half an hour.
Then the pastor rose, and with the help of a branch that had not yet burned, pulled an ember aside and placed it far from the fire.
The ember, without enough heat to go on burning, began to go out. Juan quickly tossed it back into the middle of the fire.
“Good night,” said the pastor, rising to leave.
“Good night and many thanks,” answered Juan. “No matter how bright it is, an ember removed from the fire will end up going out quickly.
“No matter how clever a man may be, far from his neighbors he will never manage to conserve his heat and his flame.”
Ok.. back to work. 🙂