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