Chapter 7.14 Learning: Increase Your Knowledge

Learning: Increase Your Knowledge

Knowledge is, indeed, that which, next to virtue, truly and essentially raises one man above another.
“Guardian”       Joseph Addison (1672-1719)        English Politician and Writer

I have noticed that when I am learning something new, I am energized.  I want to know more about what, how and why.  New parts of my brain are engaged and new storage areas are dusted clear.  It matters not the subject … only the progression of new thinking.

“Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.”
Chinese Proverb

Learning is gaining knowledge, knowledge for yourself.  This knowledge becomes a resource for your thoughts.  Each person has interests that are individual to him.  Each person organizes her knowledge in different patterns.  Everyone has a unique jigsaw puzzle … (and yep, some people are missing a few pieces.)

“A man is never astonished that he doesn’t know what another does, but he is surprised at the gross ignorance of the other in not knowing what he does.”
Thomas Chandler Haliburton (1796-1865)        Canadian Author

It is important to continually learn. Every day we run across new things that we absorb as knowledge … a new food in the grocery store, an opinion on talk radio, facts in the news (yes, facts), a new word, a new thought (to us at least), some new work information.

All of these little things get filed away in various folders in our brain.  Some of it we use, some of it we forget that it is there.  Fortunately, the brain routinely discards information that has not been accessed for a while, although it often leaves the tabs … “I kind of remember that!  Now what is it again?”

“We do not learn; and what we call learning is only a process of recollection.”
Plato (428 BC-348 BC) Ancient Greek Philosopher

But gaining knowledge is not my definition of Learning.  Learning is activating the neuron-energies in the brain to focus all attention on the topic at hand.  Learning is concentrating … (are you still with me?)  The goal of learning is to understand, to challenge our thinking, to connect-the-dots, to problem solve, so that we can file this new information properly.  If you are not thinking, you are not learning.

“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.”
Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)          Chinese Philosopher

Brain engagement is good for the health of your brain, and good for our soul.  Many studies have revealed that learning new things builds new pathways in our brain, new synapses of energy.  Even simple things such as brushing one’s teeth with the opposite hand, taking a new route home, shopping in a different grocery store, performing crossword and suduko puzzles provide exercise for the brain.

“Learning is a kind of natural food for the mind.”
Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC)          Roman Orator and Philosopher

What is important is the engaging of the brain. If what you are learning gives you satisfaction and pleasure, chances are that you will not be conjuring up too many negative thoughts … at least you will probably be thinking of ways to resolve any negative items.

Always set aside some time each day, even 15 minutes, to do something that your brain enjoys. Look forward to the newspaper in the morning, a puzzle during the day, or a good book at night.  It keeps your world in perspective, engages the frontal lobes, and gives you something fun to look forward to … (S-K … at which to look forward.)

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.  Anyone who keeps learning stays young.  The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
Henry Ford (1863-1947)        Inventor of the Automobile

Yet for me, there is a difference between assembling the parts of gas-engine model airplanes vs. understanding the causes of global warming.  Or learning the features of a new luxury car vs. learning a foreign language.  Or learning how to download music tunes vs. learning to play a musical instrument.  All of these learning experiences can be challenging and are good for the brain. And they all provide personal rewards of achievement and satisfaction.  But some topics of learning just seem more expansive to me, more earthwhile.

“Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.”
Herman Hesse (1877-1962)          German-born Swiss Writer

So, engage your brain and gain more knowledge.  Learn new things.   Ponder.  Wonder.  Learn some more. Ponder some more.  For knowledge and learning separates us as a species … and as individuals.  Learning new things is a great goal. And if you actually improve your understanding of the complex world around you, you become a better person … which means you can smile more. Never stop learning.

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”
Anthony J. D’Angelo       Inspirational Author


One Response to “Chapter 7.14 Learning: Increase Your Knowledge”

  1. Pismo Painter Says:

    Keeping an active mind wards off Alzheimer’s or at least I keep telling myself that as I struggle with New York Times crossword puzzles. It’s frustrating that as I learn more I realize I really don’t know very much. And then what I did know takes more time to recall. However, I truly believe in continual learning mode and plan to live until 100 with a fully intact mind. Good plan huh?

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