Tying It All Up
The previous three blogs in my series of contemplations have, admittedly, seemed somewhat random, and it might appear as if they have little to do with one another. So, I wanted to write one last piece to tie them together and explain how they interrelate. Let’s talk about why learning is important.
The first concerned the concept of leaving a legacy – what you leave behind when you die. The second centered around the desire of changing the world, concluding that one need not do so in order to have a massive impact within another person’s life. Finally, the third featured a brief discussion on the benefits of hobbies to one’s health.
Now, I want to bring all three together under the banner of continuing education – learning for the sake of learning. I hesitate to even say knowledge can be its own goal, since it’s generally passed on in some form or another. That might not be true in all cases, but most of the time, knowledge serves as a means to some end, be it profitable or not.
Take my previous example of writing a novel. The one I’m currently working on, in large part, details the vicious, cyclical nature of violence, where vengeance begets further vengeance. The reason I’ve centered my book on this concept is because it’s important to me. It’s something I hold dear, and hope to convey to my children and their children. And, as noted before, even if I can’t change the world by writing it, I want to have the chance to change the outlook of someone who reads it. In this way, all three of my previous concepts are brought together: the desire to leave a legacy of nonviolence, the cultivation of my own garden, and my love of writing.
But here’s the catch: all of this is hinged on the fact that I learned to write. I’ve spent time cultivating that skill and practicing, understanding how to better that talent so that I can hopefully produce something worthwhile and formative on other peoples’ ideals.
Legacy through Learning
When you learn to do something, and especially when you learn to do something well, you have the ability to pass that knowledge or skill on to someone else, who might build on what you’ve taught them to accomplish even greater things. In this way, learning is never just for its own sake. When people seek to educate themselves on a certain topic or skill, they position themselves to discover, to leave behind a legacy which others can build on. It allows them to teach and to grow. Even if they never make money off of that knowledge, they have the chance to make the world a better place, if only in some small way.
That is the purpose of continuing education, and that’s why I’ve invested myself in VTR. Whether business, art, law, music, or some other realm, it’s important to remember why learning is important. We share the need to discover new things worth enjoying and leave a legacy which others can build upon to accomplish great things. Even if you, yourself, aren’t the one to accomplish those things, the very fact that you’ll have taken part in shaping that legacy ensures that, even if no one knows your name, your life will have meant something.
And of course, this isn’t to say that leaving a legacy is the only way of making a life with meaning and purpose. But, in my contemplations these past few weeks, I’ve realized that it is one way to do so.
If you’ve bore with me for all of these blog posts, thank you immensely for giving the me the chance to pass on my thoughts. I’d love to hear your comments, critiques, and arguments even.