Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What Will You Learn Today?

Life is about learning. Each day, we should all strive to learn something new. Every interaction we have is an opportunity to share and gain knowledge, but we have to keep an open mind. By setting aside our ego, we open ourselves to the realization that everyone, no matter how different, has some knowledge we don't.

In this age of technology, we have opportunity at our fingertips. With the Internet, we can do things our ancestors were never able to do. We can have immediate conversations with people we will never meet. Through websites like Duolingo, we can learn foreign languages in ways that our convenient for us. With the proliferation of blogs, we have the ability to learn from an assortment of amazing people. Major universities are putting many of their courses out there for anyone to take. The amount of knowledge we have access to is astounding.

Even with all of this, we can still learn much from the people we meet each day if we set aside our judgments. It is impossible to learn from someone if we go in to each interaction with preconceived notions about who they are or what they know. We can't label people and expect to learn anything from them. You never know what these people know or what experiences they may have. The barista in your coffee shop may have a Ph.D. in physics. The man playing the violin at your subway station may be a virtuoso playing on a multimillion dollar violin. You just never know who you are going to meet or what knowledge they can impart.

A hunger for knowledge allows us to grow. Trying to learn something new can also be scary. We are not going to be good at everything we try, but with practice, we can get better. I will never learn Spanish unless I try. You will never have your beliefs challenged unless you open yourself to new ideas and new ways of doing things. If we choose to keep our minds closed and to believe other people have nothing to teach us, we stagnate. We will not grow. We will not learn. We will not get any closer to the truth. What will you learn today?

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