Learning is for life

“Why do I need to know this? This is stupid.” My 16 year wailed incessantly over her world history homework. “The only people who use this are people on jeopardy.”

“Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” I said, looking for the ear plugs I use to block out my husband’s snoring.

“What does that even mean?”

“It means if you don’t pass this class you’ll have to take it again for summer school.”

I can’t blame the kid. History bored me when I was in school. The same was true for geometry, physics, and phys ed. None of those were going to help me as a writer.

I lied to myself.

Curiosity comes natural to me. Growing up before Google meant reading about it in dusty, out of date encyclopedias from the family bookshelf, asking an expert, or heading to the library to access the microfiche and magazines.

Thank the tech gods for the internet and Google. And Pinterest.

I’ve learned so much just because of the ease of being able to look it up. Narcissist disorder. Anxiety relief techniques. The process of embalming. How to preserve a human being. Is it possible to taxidermy a person? How long does it take an eyeball to dry out? You know, regular things.

The greatest advantage of having knowledge at your fingertips is being able to answer the endless string of questions your children will ask.

Every child.goes through a phase of asking questions. “Why is the sky blue? Why can’t I understand the dog? If I jump off the roof with an umbrella will I float like Mary Poppins? Can I have a pet T Rex?”

Granted, I don’t need Google to tell me not to let my kid jump off the roof but it helps if I have visual aids to show him what happens when you don’t listen to Mommy. “That’s a broken a leg?” “Actually, that’s a compound fracture because he didn’t tuck and roll when he landed.” Mother knows best.

I know the love of learning will bloom in my children later in life. I’ve seen it show up as late as someone’s 60s. And that’s ok. You’re never too old to learn new things. There are far too many people out in the world thinking they know everything and don’t need an opportunity to expand their knowledge base.

You don’t know what you don’t know. So, I don’t know what the next thing I’m going to learn is. But I’m grateful for the chance to grow more.


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