life-long learning

Do all your learning while you’re young, for when you get older nobody can tell you anything.

— Anonymous

Image courtesy of winnond at


Knee-jerk reaction: Are you kidding me!? No wonder this person chose to remain anonymous. Have they never heard of life-long learning? What an idiot.

Slightly delayed reaction: I bet this person has teenage kids.

Current reaction: I feel sorry for people who think: (a) learning has an endpoint; (b) the older and more experienced you are, the more you know.

In my case, I feel that the older I get, the less I know.

Yes, I have experience and background knowledge in numerous areas. Advice that I offer (to anyone who will listen … and to my daughter who sometimes doesn’t) is based on knowledge gained from years of education and life.

But, the world is changing at an unbelievably rapid rate; it is difficult to keep up. When it comes to certain fields, usually those involving technology of any description, I am way behind. Doing all your learning when you are young simply does not cut it for our changing world.

The other thing to remember is that learning keeps you alive. I don’t mean in the physical sense, but mentally. Learning a new skill, or subject matter you finally have time to pursue in an area of interest, can be mentally invigorating. The buzz I get when I have learned something new is better than anything else.

There is nothing more boring than a conversation with a person who knows it all. We all know someone like that. It doesn’t matter what you say, they already know it. In reality, they often don’t know it, but just can’t admit it (because of that ‘more experience’ issue).

A phrase I hear myself uttering often is you learn something new every day. And you do, if you listen to people. There is no shame in admitting you don’t know something. The shame comes when you act like you know, but you don’t; eventually you get caught out.

A friend of mine exemplifies life-long learning. She is a teacher with an abundance of knowledge and experience behind her. She is my go-to person on matters educational and literary. She knows how to share her wisdom gently, without shoving it down your throat. But, of most importance, she is also the first to admit when she doesn’t know something, and the first to put her hand up to learn something new.

This is something to which we should all aspire.


3 thoughts on “life-long learning

  1. Would you believe, Kellie, that the same quote you wrote about so vehemently and assertively was shared by Jo as part of a new idea to have a quote for the day for school staff!!!
    How angry I felt when I read it and answered straight away – SOMEWHAT true, Joe! Even as a member of the Senior Citizens Club, I still have a thirst and passion for learning! What a stimulating and thought-provoking world we live in!!!!!
    I would have liked to say more but the forum was not big or appropriate enough for me in which to express my anger!!!! Still, I hope people were able to read between the lines.
    ‘Your life is an occasion. Rise to it !’
    One of my favourite quotes:
    ‘Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you’.


    1. No coincidences there Janet – Jo’s email is where I got the quote. I am loving receiving those emails in the morning – some of them strike a chord and need to be instantly responded to (like yesterday’s one) – nothing better than a contentious quote for getting the writing to flow.

      I have to admit, I instantly thought of you when I read that quote … I could feel you seething. And – did you recognise yourself in my final paragraph?


      1. Yes, I could recognise myself in the final paragraph, thank you.
        I love reading your blogs and responding to them! They are very powerful and thought stimulating. It is great to STOP, sit down, reflect and make connections.
        Trust you are tracking ok as you and your much loved crew manoeuvre rough seas! Remember, ‘Smooth seas do not make skilful sailors!!’ I am willing to get sea sick with you at any time you have the need!!!


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