One of my cousin brothers who is a university professor also has a similar view. He told me that he never feels old as he needs to deal with a young bunch of students on a daily basis and in their company my brother has to be one of them to fit into their discourse, to learn about the contemporary topics or to get a membership in their group. His position will be renewed every year with a new set of students. This makes my cousin more enthusiastic and eager to deliver his lessons in a new manner too.
I also think that as long as one is ready to learn things which keep changing regularly, they do not feel old or one’s growing age does not determine his fading youth, instead a lack of interests towards learning indicates that the person’s growth has stopped as well.
In this context, I remember one of my workmates who had spent more than two decades working in different fields. His extensive work experience may have been a reason behind his reluctance to learn new skills or knowledge that his new position would demand. To encourage him, one day I said, “Sir, this office provides us with a lot of learning opportunities, so we should learn new things which help us to produce quality work.” Contrary to my expectation his response greatly surprised me, “How long should I learn? I have spent all these years in learning and what to learn now?”
It was as if he had learned everything he needed or he knew all the things in this vast universe. At that time I thought he did not want to grow further now, meaning he got old. Soon after that, it became clear that he could not cope with the challenging office environment and he quit his job.
Doubtlessly, a positive attitude towards learning is one of the major keys to success. If one wants to fit in this globalised and dynamic world they should never say “No” to learning. The concept of ‘lifelong learning’ also justifies this fact. In the simplest of terms, lifelong learning is defined as, “the provision or use of both formal and informal learning opportunities throughout people’s lives in order to foster the continuous development and improvement of the knowledge and skills needed for employment and personal fulfillment.”
Therefore, in my opinion learning is an essential part of life. As long as you are a passionate learner you will feel lively and young but once you start feeling unwilling towards learning you stop living purposefully too. Learning helps you keep going.
(Published in an English Daily The Rising Nepal on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 )
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