One New Thing

“You should learn one new thing every day, ” she said. It seems at first to be a grand challenge, but when I think about it, maybe not a challenge at all.

One? One? Only one? Think just how limiting it would be to be striving to learn one new thing a day. Why I would think that we should be trying to learn much more than one thing a day. If I went by this rule I would only have a possibility of learning 3, 650 things a decade. Sad waste of a my lifetime.

If your child went to school all day and only learned one thing would you be satisfied? One math fact or one spelling word, or one date in history or one preposition. His twelve years of school, elementary and high school would net him at one hundred and eighty days a year for twelve years only 2,160 facts. Maybe, you say, that is more than some children learn in twelve years of schooling, but I say  that would be subnormal and pathetic. We all need to learn as much as we can every day.

Now, of course, I am not thinking I can learn major things every day, like how to overhaul my car motor or how to play a cello or how to draw up the blueprints of a sky scraper, but I can learn small things and simple things by the boatload every day if I keep my mind and eyes open and if I have a teachable attitude. So can you. Even if you are highly educated  there is still much more to learn than one can learn in a lifetime.

Learn how to turn on your new phone, how to program your answering machine, how to use the remote control, how to save a photograph to your computer. Learn someone’s name, learn to make something, to cook a new dish, to do a chore you never were concerned with. Learn the words to a poem, learn a joke, learn a new word’s spelling and its meaning.

Learn a new taste, a new sound, a new texture. Learn to whistle a tune, shine your shoes, to draw a cartoon. to mix bathing salts. Learn the name of a bird, a flower, a plant, a sea shell. There are so many billions of things to learn and everyday is an opportunity to know more and more.

Have you ever asked someone for directions, or some simple information only to have them answer,”I have no earthly idea”? Nothing irks me as much. If you don’t have any ideas, get some! If you don’t know answers look them up. Ask, search, seek, find out, learn!

Learning might have been painful at some point in a person’s life. What a shame that you could go through life not understanding, not knowing the joy and fulfillment of learning. Learning is such fun.

All around us everyday are myriad chances to challenge our minds. Let’s learn!

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