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Learning is the Thing for You

I told students, when I learned something new, I was going home to tell my wife. I unsure they believed me, but, often, I would go home and tell Kathy what I had learned or a particular frustration from the day. Often, the latter led to learning.

T. H. White, in this excerpt from The Once and Future King, suggests learning is a universal solvent for what ails us at any given moment. It distracts us from worrisome, sad, and fearful things focuses on something right here in the present moment. It occupies our minds, fills our bodies, and feeds the soul of our being.

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlyn… “is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss you only love, you may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honor trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then–to learn. Learn why the world ways and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured, never fear or distrust, and never dream regretting. Learning is the thing for you.”

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

14 responses »

  1. Catherine Johnson

    Wow, that is fascinating! Thanks for the enlightenment, Ivan.

    Reply
  2. In all honesty this is why I look for people like you to read. Learning for me is the ‘bread of life’ .Thanks for providing provocative, interesting, entertaining things to fill my mind. Without it I might have to turn on the TV!

    Reply
    • Thank you Marie. I appreciate the wonderful comment. Your last line echoes a post I saw this morning by Groucho Marx who said something like TV is educational as he left the room and read a book every time one was turned on.

      Reply
  3. It really is the only purpose in life.
    We sail the same boat, Ivon. I feel proud and grateful..
    Happy Thursday,
    Camelia

    Reply
  4. Good sound advice. I learned something today. :-)

    Reply
  5. Wow, just what I needed to be reminded of. Thank you, with hugs….

    Reply
  6. MisBehaved Woman

    This is awesome; thank you!

    Reply
    • You are welcome. I am glad you enjoyed it.

      Reply
      • MisBehaved Woman

        My dad is in depositions for his mesothelioma case today; father-in-law is undergoing surgery today. If ever there was a time to settle in and learn something instead of stressing, today was it. This was a real blessing…seriously.

      • As we age, so do our parents and those around us. My mom is 90 and in failing health. My mother-in-law is a bit younger, but the same issue. It is, as you say, a blessing when something comes into our days that healthily focus us.

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