A friend recently told me that, not more than two years ago, I said I didn’t care about learning things I didn’t have to know. I literally rejected learning unless I had to. I don’t remember this and could hardly believe I’d uttered those words, because I’ve changed.
Like everyone else, I’ve always been inquisitive about things that I am personally invested or interested in. I like knowing more about my personal hobbies, my favourite artists. But, apparently, I didn’t used to care about learning things that didn’t relate to me.
Looking back, I know this to be true. I didn’t take history in high school because I didn’t think I would need it later in life – a decision I have since regretted. I was wrong. It’s not that I need to know about history for my job or because I need to pass a written test, but because the test is everyday life. Knowing the dates and some details of historic events is valuable. I feel pretty silly admitting that, without Googling, I don’t know when WW2 ended. A giant, historic event and I don’t have a clue. This goes for learning about anything and everything, not just history. The more we know, the more interesting we become. The test is being able to participate in dinner party conversations; it’s finding common ground with someone at a networking function. The more you know, the better off you are.
Today, I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to learn new things. As I said, I’ve changed. Today, I am all about learning. We live in a time where you can find out anything about anything and you can do it on your phone. Isn’t that incredible? I am going through and watching Youtube crash courses on world history. I click the science posts that appear in my Facebook news feed. I want to talk to people who work in industries I know nothing about and gain just the slightest understanding. Everything is fascinating. There is so much to know. There is so much cool shit in the world to learn about. And the best part is, everyone is a teacher. Everyone knows something you don’t and has an experience you can learn from – we just have to ask the questions and be willing to listen.
There are always going to be some things I don’t care about and don’t care to learn about, and that’s fine. No one can know everything. But I have started to take my head out of the sand, expand my horizons, read the research paper rather than the gossip article and know that it’s never too late to learn something new.