Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What did you learn today?

Although there's some truth in what Robert Fulghum says in his poem, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," I'm a lifelong learner so I resist the idea that I have nothing more that I need to know. I hope I'm learning new things until I take my final breath. Each new experience brings me more insights—and often the most difficult times teach me the most.

Yesterday I talked about the thrill of new life—now that spring is trying to make an appearance, at least in my part of the country. Today I'm aware of the wonder and joy I experienced as I witnessed my ninth grandchild being born just over 18 months ago. What a precious gift to participate in Ayden's arrival into the world! And just last month when I visited my youngest son, daughter-in-law, Ayden and his older sister in Arizona where they live, Ayden was learning new words by the dozens every day. I was just as enchanted watching him learn the joys of speech as I was all those years ago when I witnessed my sons doing the same.

Because Ayden is so young, he's learning life skills at a fantastic pace. Imagine if we kept up that pace throughout our lives. How much wisdom and knowledge would we have by now?

You and I don't learn new life skills at that rapid rate any more. There's no reason, however, to discount all that we have learned and are learning through the years. Take a few moments to think back on your life five or 10 years ago. Even a year ago. Aren't there nuggets of wisdom that you've picked up in that time? You don't often think about it, perhaps. And maybe it's time to do so—to be grateful for all you've learned, much of it the hard way!

MSNBC's program Morning Joe finishes with a short segment, "What Have We Learned Today?" in which the hosts and others share what they learned that morning. What if you were to ask yourself that each day? Stay awake and aware—see how much you are adding to your wisdom data base daily. Ask the question of your experiences, and, yes, of your fears, too: What can I learn from this? What more do I need to know? What can this teach me?

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