Friday, August 21, 2015

Brain Gain

"Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can--there will always come a time you will be grateful you did."~Sarah Caldwell

This quote crossed my path today. It got me to thinking about just how much we learn over a lifetime. So much information crammed into our heads! 

We learn to tie our shoes. We learn our ABC's. We learn multiplication tables and algebraic equations. We learn how to play the piano, or the tambourine. We learn where babies come from and how to balance a checkbook. We learn to ride a bike, drive a car, and parallel park. We learn how to cook, how to speak a foreign language, put air in a tire, braid hair, swim, surf, and take a photograph. We learn how to play charades and backgammon and we learn how to work that infuriating TV remote control! 

We learn how to communicate with others. 
We learn how to love. 
We learn how to grieve. 
We learn how to live.

I used to think the most useless thing I ever learned was algebra. I mean, really? I prefer my x's and y's in sentences, not in equations. Then a good friend and former co-worker told me I should think of algebra as calisthenics for my brain. That put a different spin on it. But, I'd still rather exercise my brain in another way!

The most important thing I learned how to do is to read. Reading opened up the world to me and led to a curiosity about life and to a love affair with words... and that led to a career as a journalist, author and speaker. Reading also keeps the learning cycle spinning... more words, more knowledge! 

One of the most unusual things I've ever learned is how to sing the books of the Bible. My grandmother taught me when I was two. I can still do it. Don't believe me? Click here and I'll sing them for you! Was I ever grateful for learning that? Absolutely! The first time is when I used this knowledge by singing the "Bible Song" to quieten a rowdy group of 3rd grade Sunday School kids! Now, I sing the song to entertain adults! 

One of the most fun things I learned how to do is fish! In learning this, I also learned that I don't love fishing enough to do it in January. Lesson learned.

On the bucket list of things I still want to learn:

 How to juggle. How to speak Italian. How to play the drums. How to paint. How to arrange flowers. I want to learn more about artistic masterpieces and the brilliant painters who created them. I want to learn how to work that infuriating TV remote control! ;) 

What's the most interesting thing you've learned, or learned to do, in your lifetime? Or the most fun? Or the most useless? What's the most unusual thing you learned that you ended up becoming grateful that you knew?

Think about it. Make a list of what you know, what you don't, and what you want to learn.Be grateful for the people who helped you learn. Be grateful for the knowledge that is crammed into your brain... and promise yourself to continue---as Ms. Caldwell advises--- learning everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can. Let it become "learned behavior."

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