Thursday, October 14, 2010

Piece of Advice #73: Keep learning new things

The world is a vast place with a complex history and plethora of natural wonders, so keep exploring it either physically or virtually.

Every so often, usually when I'm talking about something I've read, I'll hear someone say something like, "I haven't read a book since high school; they made me read then, but I don't have to now."  What a waste!  There are so many things to learn beyond the basic curriculum pushed onto students in school, and outside of school you can concentrate on things that really interest you.  What's more, it's so easy to get to information now.  I'm on wikipedia all the time looking up people, events, words, historical facts - anything, in fact, that I come across in the course of my day that sounds interesting.  I didn't always love school, but I love learning.  I also heavily utilize my local library's resources.

From a pragmatic standpoint, you can also learn to do things that you'd otherwise have to pay someone quite a lot of money to do for you.  And, again, the information on how to do so many things are just a few keystrokes away.  Unfortunately, I never took a hands-on course like wood shop or home economics in high school, but I've managed to fix my own dishwasher, my printer, my vacuum, and my faucet, replace a light fixture, install Wordpress, make and can blackberry jam, and do a plethora of other light jobs just by looking them up online and working through the instructions step by step.  There's a satisfaction that comes, too, from making something with your own hands.  Not only are you, with the learning of each new skill, less dependent, but homemade is often so much better and so much more durable than commercially made.

One thing reading and listening to other people's wisdom and viewpoints does tend to do is make you realize how small your own knowledge base is and how many things there are out there to learn.  This is not always a happy realization, but if humility is the cost of wisdom it's worth it.  Never, never stop learning!

8 comments:

  1. I've learned more life changing knowledge and awareness about the real world in 4 years of reading and studying the MRA/MGTWO/PUA/GAME blogs on the internet than I did in 7 years of college!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You go girl! I learned a long time ago that if it comes apart, it can be put back together again. Every new bit of information or every new skill is a building block for something you may be able to use later.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a dull life, to never learn anything. Might as well roll over dead. :(

    I am learning to sew right now, and wearing my results as I go. "Next time better!" is my motto... and I love my homesewn garments.

    Learned to bake. Learned to make real stock. Learned to grind my own meat. All of that frees money up and makes my family's life better - and mine too!

    Humility? LOTS. But... there's a lifetime ahead. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Another wonderful post, grerp. I too am amzed at the number of people who simply refuse to read because they don't have to.

    Why be stagnant when there is so much to learn and explore?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Where did you get the jam recipe?
    I want to try making jam but don't want as much sugar as most people are used to having in it. I was thinking that if you tried it and it worked out well, then it will be good enough for me to try. It's always a gamble with recipes from the internet unless you trust the source...

    ReplyDelete
  6. then there are those of us who are in school until the age of 30 and SICK TO DEATH OF LEARNING!! :P

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous - I found the jam recipe here:

    http://www.thatsmyhome.com/general/blackberry-jam-2.htm

    Every August I go up north and pick blackberries and make jam. Blackberry is my father's favorite.

    Hearth - I taught myself to cook and sew. My mom tried to teach me to cook when I was a preteen, but I was apparently not that cooperative, so I had to learn it on my own in my thirties. :( As for sewing, I don't sew my own clothes much because it's so much cheaper to buy used at thrifts and garage sales, but I do quilt and mend and make Halloween costumes, curtains, etc. It's a good skill to have.

    This winter my goal is to bake bread. I find the yeast thing to be a little intimidating. This was supposed to be a goal of mine last winter, but it got shunted aside for other commitments.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. That's just as true now as it was 2400 years ago. I can't imagine not having read a book since high school.

    ReplyDelete