Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Soak up all the learning you can

American blues musician, singer and songwriter B. B. King said, "The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you." Yes! It seems so obvious when you hear it. But it hasn't always been so obvious—and we don't always value learning enough.

When I came of age, I remember hearing often that if a young woman wasn't going to have a career, higher education was wasted on her. That's silly, isn't it?

Now we know that learning can make us better people—more well-rounded, insightful, happier. It helps us in whatever roles we take on, from parenting to membership in any organization to whatever job or career we might choose. Our minds are a valuable part of us, and we do well to keep them active and engaged for as long as we're able to do so. That doesn't necessarily mean we have to attend college. There are many ways to learn. Developing awareness. Reading books. Watching thoughtful movies or TV shows and discussing them with others. Auditing classes. Learning a new skill or hobby.

The idea of lifelong learning really jazzes me. In fact, when I hear one of my grandsons talk about his college courses and what he's learning, I long to be back in a college classroom myself. But there are many ways to develop our minds. And, despite the threat of dementia and Alzheimer's as we age, there are many ways to try build up our memory and retain what we've learned. Why not stop today and pay attention to this important part of your life?

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