Lifelong Learner: What Does it Mean?
NOTE: The information from this blog is from my “Tidbits of Wisdom for Parents,” video series found on my YouTube channel. It’s approximately 12 minutes in length. This is a recap of what you will see on the video. If you prefer to watch the video, click on the link below.
Click here to access the YouTube video
You can be a lifelong learner. It’s a richly rewarding phrase with a simple definition:
Someone who is passionate about learning and pursues it relentlessly all of their lives.
Here are some points covered in the video that emphasize the importance of learning our whole lives and how to teach your kids to be lifelong learners.
Point #1: Passionate about Learning
A lifelong learner is someone who is passionate about learning and pursues it relentlessly all of their lives. Parents who are lifelong learners become examples to their children of how important learning is and that learning is something that can be enjoyed and embraced for a lifetime.
Point #2: Keeps the Brain Active
Teach your children that learning is fun and will keep their brains active, energetic and working on all 4-cylinders. Learning is also a way to ward off the ravages of aging. Studies on aging nuns (some over the age of 100) indicate that keeping the brain active through journaling, reading, exercising, doing crossword puzzles, playing musical instruments, etc., will keep the brain in tip-top shape and may even prevent dementia.
Point #3: Learning Enriches Our Lives
Livelong learning enriches a person’s life. He or she is able to draw from a wellspring of knowledge and understanding about life, etc., and share this knowledge with family and friends. Learning creates a happy, fulfilling life. And, as the saying goes, “knowledge is power.” It’s interesting to note that historically when evil leaders take over countries, the first people they kill are the educated thinkers. However, to be a lifelong learner does not mean you have to have numerous degrees. Many lifelong learners are people, who through avid reading and studying, have taught themselves.
Point #4: Famous Lifelong Learners
Throughout the ages, there have been hundreds of impressive lifelong learners that have left behind their legacy of learning and growing. Some of them started developing talents and pursuing learning early in life while others found their “learning niche” later in life. But all enjoyed learning into old age. Here is a small sampling:
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci was not only a painter and sculptor, but he was also an engineer, inventor, and architect. At the end of his life, he made a formal apology to God expressing his wish that he would have accomplished more.
Grandma Moses started painting at the age of 67 and continued to paint and draw until her death at 101. Considered a late bloomer by 21st century standards, she illustrated to the world that learning and the development of talents can start at any age.
John Holt was 50 when he decided to learn the cello. Through intense practicing, he was able to join an orchestra and continues to play and perform today.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Mary Stoneman Douglas was an American journalist, author, women’s suffrage advocate, and conservationist. She is known for her staunch defense of the Everglades against efforts to drain it and reclaim land for development. She died in 1998 at the age of 108 and worked on the everglade restoration until she died.
Point #5: Human Beings and Their Place in the Universe
Human beings are the most remarkable creations on earth. They can think, feel, use their creativity and learn throughout their lives. Animals, birds, and insects can certainly think and feel but their abilities to create fall short of what a human can do.
If we studied the planets, we would find that our universe is immense and humans are but a small dot in comparison. But, in terms of what we can accomplish, the possibilities are endless and more expansive than the universe!
Point #6: Book Titles to Inspire Learning
Here are seven book titles to inspire lifelong learning and cover areas supported by my blog: music, books, nutrition, traditions, and parenting. They will stimulate yours and your children’s creative juices.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
The Creative Spirit by Daniel Goleman
A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech
Good Music Brighter Children by Sharlene Habermeyer
The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease
How Children Succeed by Paul Tough
The Book of New Family Traditions by Meg Cox
Begin today. Make a goal to become a lifelong learner. Inspire your children to do the same. Strive to learn something new every day. And as you do so, watch how you weave a legacy of learning for future generations!