Tuesday, November 29, 2005

 

idea exposure

for those of us who are no longer enrolled in a formal educational program creating a life that allows us to be always learning can pose a greater level of challenge. it can become quite easy to only come in contact with thoughts, ideas and concepts that we are already familiar with or that resonate with our deeply held beliefs. we work in a field where we understand the key concepts of our trade and socialize with people who share many of our political and personal values. so where do the fresh new ways of looking at the world, the new opportunities to meet our human need for learning and discovery come from?

recently, i made a decision that i wanted to learn more about a variety of factors that have given shape to my life today. to read and learn about the history of my ancestors, to learn more about the development of the religion i was raised in and to further my understanding of the history of my country. setting out to do this has begun to reveal new ideas and concepts left and right.

some of the information i am encountering is not new, but looking at it from new perspectives is providing a whole new experience. and in other instances there is new information, bit and pieces that can be woven into what i already knew and create a much more clear and understandable picture of my world. "ah, so that's why my finnish grandmother always reacted so strongly when..."

this exposure to new ideas has just begun, and each time i come across a new concept it only increases my desire to learn more.

it's unfortunate but often true that formal education either doesn't allow us to learn what we would truly like to, or if we are lucky enough to be studying a topic we enjoy it doesn't allow us to learn at a reasonable enough pace to truly soak in all that we are reading and memorizing. deciding to learn what we want to in a way that will allow us to fully incorporate and understand the ideas presented can be incredibly empowering.

whether you learn by asking your grandparents to tell you stories, going to local film festivals or checking out books and magazines from your local library, setting out to find the information your brain is craving is an exciting adventure.

what would you like to learn?

how do you want to learn it?

what does it mean for you to be life long learner?

i'd love to hear your ideas or suggestions for finding new perspectives and learning new things...as always, post your thoughts here!

dream big,
-kirsten

Comments:
Kirsten, for 30 years I have been spreading the tidings here and there of THE big idea of all ideas--that all the Kirstens and Davids could straighten out the world in a single day, if only everyone realized that it isn't as ridiculous as it seems, and the only reason that people think it's ridiculous is the widespread misconception that the world has to be the way it is just beause it always has been this way, which of course is backwards reasoning. I don't know if the blog I created yesterday--The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man (after the short story of that title by Dostoevsky, which should be required reading for everyone)--is searchable yet, but since dreaming BIG is yer baby, perhaps you would be so kind as to tell me how to get the word out to all the rest of the bloggers. There are of course any number of ways to do it, but lemme tell you: I teach part-time, all different grades, and kids from 1st to 12th Grade are very ready for taking back the world. They are scared, and they are fed up about being helpless. In the first place there is NO reason a FOurth Grader shouldn't have the right to vote. Suposing the kids refused to go to school until the grownups stopped fighting, and played fair. Everyone has to share. Not one person starving or dying of exposure--not someday; today! It can be done in a day. I'm not an economist, but could you imagine if the money spent on Christmas ornaments and trees, not to mention lighting all those house lights and plastic snowmen and Santas, might have prevented everyone from starving that day? What if everyone forsaked Christmas gifts instead of charity for once, and we ended hunger that day? What if instead of 100 calendars with thoughts for a day, there were 365 ways like that to prevent starvation that day? What if everyone found their own way to do it every day? All the other big ideas are secondary, while people are suffering and dying the way exploitation makes them suffer and die. Part of the problem has been trying to get people to love others as they love themselves. Not gonna happen. The chief thing is to see others AS yourself. All that is necessary is realizing that that could have been or could still be happening to our own children. Does anyone really think that the people responsible for it care about us any more than they do the children in the slave labor camps?
 
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