Thursday, January 18, 2007

Life's Major Choice: Learn Or Decay

Learning is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.
- Chinese Proverb

Such sayings exist in every language and culture. Yet far too many people in western countries today carry emotional burdens so heavy they don't give a thought to learning.

"Learning is for the young."
"I'm far too old to be keeping up with modern developments and the rat race."
"The world's going to hell in a handbasket. I don't want to stay up with the pace of destruction."

Literature from ancient times shows that older people then thought that young people were flighty, inconsiderate, rude, uncommitted and thoughtless abour the consequences of their actions on their own future and the future of their people. Little has changed that way.

But people in ancient times valued learning and respected older people whom they considered to be wiser because they knew much more than younger people.

What has changed? The pace of life in modern times has sped up alarmingly. Wisdom earned the hard way in the past may have little application in the present. Unless the older people of the present can keep up with younger people in terms of what they know. Wise old people have no audience if they can't speak the same language as young people.

Only when two generations can speak to each other, as equals, but one with greater depth of experience and knowledge, can wisdom be passed along to younger generations today.

Until 30 years ago, the desire of a majority of working people was to reach retirement age when they could be on what amounted to a permanent vacation. When Baby Boomers saw their grandparents enjoying only a few years of retirement, then dying because they did not work their bodies and their minds, many decided to change their concept of retirement.

We are still in the transition phase between the old way of thinking where we have an abundance of elderly people who fear keeping up with today's rapid advance of developments and those in the newer phase who consider learning to be a lifelong pursuit.

Many people still don't understand how light a burden learning is. More importantly, by not having the knowledge they may need, they don't know how to work their way through many of life's problems that cause them real emotional burden. So they struggle.

The human body and brain were not designed to relax for long. They were both designed to solve problems and do work. Those that don't, decay.

There is no status quo to maintain.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, striving to help you build a fulfilling life for as long as you want.
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