Ernst Oppler “Reading Girl.” (in Niendorf), 1921
“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.”
- Keeping Our Minds Young And Flexible… At Any Age.
Renoir. Reading. 1891. Wikimedia Commons.
“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he (/she) was born in another time.”
Hendrick ter Brugghen – Democritus and Heraclitus [1618-19] Wikimedia Commons.
“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”
Throughout life, our attitude to learning is paramount; it is important that we continue learning and absorbing new things from the world, at all ages and stages of life.
One’s work may be finished someday, but one’s education never.
“It is always in season for old men to learn.”
This approach is relevant to teaching, too. Helping a child in an empathic and respectful way to develop a love of learning will stand them in good stead forever.
“To me education is a leading out of what is already there in the pupil’s soul. To Miss Mackay it is a putting in of something that is not there, and that is not what I call education. I call it intrusion.”
Eugenio Zampighi (1859–1944) Her First Lesson. Wikimedia Commons
“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.”
Robert M. Hutchins
The educator’s job is to imbue children with enthusiasm for new learning that will last a lifetime.
Then they will be inspired and motivated to continue their education long after the formal part of it is over.
The world has so much to offer us in terms of knowledge and it is, indeed, a lifetime’s task to assimilate as much as we can along the way.
Dora Carrington – Portrait of Lytton Strachey Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Maintaining an enthusiastic approach to lifelong learning will reap many rewards, both for ourselves and our children.
Modelling this energetic attitude, and showing interest in what is around us, is the surest way to inspire others.
If we keep a spirit of enquiry throughout our lives, it will mean that we are constantly learning, whether formally, from books, travel, or from being amongst others in our world.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning; curiosity has its own reason for existing.”
“Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?”
- Learning is all about Change…
“When I am thus able to be in process, it is clear that there can be no closed system of beliefs, no unchanging set of principles which I hold. Life is guided by a changing understanding of and interpretation of my experience. It is always in process of becoming.”
Carl R. Rogers
“The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning.”
M. Scott Peck
Rogers’ focus on the ‘process of becoming’ is relevant, not only to self-actualisation and learning about the self in therapy, but also to absorbing knowledge generally, about the world, about others and about ourselves.
Such all-round learning makes us better human beings, wiser, and more interesting as people.
As well as helping to broaden our minds, lifelong learning can change our minds, our points of view and our ways of seeing the world.
We will, undoubtedly, become more discerning, objective and astute and have clearer vision.
We will be more inclined to see the whole picture, to reflect, and to consider many different ways of thinking, rather than having a limited, partial view of the world.
“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
As we listen and learn, as we concentrate and focus attentively, then our ability to listen generally and to be mindful of, and empathise with others, will inevitably improve.
“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”
There is no end to learning; it is a lifelong process and can change us right up to the moment of death.
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
2. The Importance Of Community
Antoni Cygan. Faces. Gandalf’s Gallery. Flickr,
“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.”
From an early age, we have learnt with others. The impact of this communal learning is considerable.
The world itself is a great teacher. The act of being with both human and animals, in whatever circumstances, in cities or in the countryside, will always bring different kinds of learning.
Frederick Morgan “Feeding the Rabbits” also known as “Alice in Wonderland”(c1904)Wikimedia Commons.
Fifth Avenue in the Winter. Childe Hassam.1919 Wikimedia Commons
“All the world is my school and all humanity is my teacher.”
Through learning in the company of others, we will experience alternative ways of thinking, we will understand difference and diversity better, become more tolerant, and begin to see the world through a less clouded lens.
“That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.”
Learning with others in a community encourages support and skill-sharing; it creates new connections and friendships.
Being with others in a learning situation, at whatever age, can lift our spirits and our mood and give us a feeling of shared understanding and companionship, especially when times are difficult.
Edgar Degas. The Dance Class. 1874.
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
3. You Will Have It Forever….
J. DeCamp. The Music Lesson.c. 1895
“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”
The wonderful aspect of having knowledge is that it will always be with you, a constant companion throughout the good and the bad times in your life.
Education teaches you to think, rationalise and analyse, and the skills inherent in the initial process of learning will be transferable to other areas during the entire course of your life.
Learning truly is the gift that keeps on giving……
“Commit yourself to lifelong learning. The most valuable asset you’ll ever have is your mind and what you put into it.”
Woman Reading by a Window. Julius Garibaldi Melchers. Wikioo.
“The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet serenity of books.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
© Linda Berman.