“All the world is my school and all humanity is my teacher.”
― George Whitman
It has rung so true for me that the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know. Academically speaking, my learning journey gets longer and longer than I ever thought it would. I never realised that my thirst for knowledge was so rampant upon leaving high school. Being in the process of putting together a Ph.D. proposal, I come to realise that there is always more to know, in life as well as within a particular subject area. The number of books to read is too many to count. As a result, I have made peace with the fact that I will be a lifelong student, not only of the academy but of life itself.
Within the professional setting, every day presents a new challenge: whether it be learning a new skill, navigating office politics or learning more about patience. My academic training did imbue me with transferable skills like time management, learning how to read and write critically and how to work under pressure. However, there is so much I had to learn and continually have to learn as I go along: especially by being thrown into the deep end by my superiors on projects or throwing myself into the deep end in a bid to test myself and demonstrate my worth to the organisation. On a more interpersonal level within the professional working environment, truly learning how to work with a group of people, with often conflicting personalities, has been one of the biggest learning curves for me. However, that is all part of the process and is so connected to the personal growth and learning journey I am on.
The personal learning journey I have been on has allowed me to recognise my spiritual essence and my connection each and every person and creature I encounter in the world, in addition to a higher power. This realisation and journey of self-discovery would not have begun had I not been open to changing my established opinions and world view. I had to remain open to new information and new experiences. As a result, I have to remain comfortable with the discomfort of continuous growth and development for this path to remain mine.
Ultimately though, in a world of economic and political instability, with an increase in nationalisation and fear of the other, it is each and every person’s responsibility to broaden the idea of what they thought was possible, to learn about themselves and their capacity for love and acceptance of others and acceptance of difference, be it through academic study, professional engagement or personal reflection. Ultimately, in the words of Albert Einstein, “Once you stop learning, you start dying”.
Picture credit: http://besmartaboutlife.com/brain-boosters-how-to-improve-your-learning-power/