As humans, we have few or no true instincts. Everything we do, we have learned to do, from walking to programming complex computer systems. Philosophers, educators, and many others have been talking about the nature of learning since the earliest days of recorded history, and probably even before that. These 16 quotes, from a wide variety of times, explore different aspects related to learning.
Each of us have our own gifts, but everyone has the gift of a capacity to learn. Obviously, each man or woman’s level of this gift is different, but it is always there. What is important, and what Brian Herbert recognizes, is that you should make the most of your gift by choosing to exercise and build on your skill for learning.
Benjamin Franklin was one of the wisest men in American history, perhaps in world history. Refusing to make the choice to learn, Franklin points out, is a serious shame. Why would you disregard your gift of the capacity for learning? Even if you do not have the same capability for learning as someone like Franklin or Einstein, it is important to make the most of the ability you do have.
da Vinci put this very well. Learning promotes understanding, and understanding something brings more satisfaction and joy than almost anything else, and in a very noble way. Strive to always learn more and understand more.
If you consider yourself too smart to keep learning, you’re dead wrong! As Herold points out, the geniuses of the world have more to learn, if they are going to use their gift of a great capacity for learning to its fullest potential. This is why it’s important to never stop learning.
We turn again to Benjamin Franklin, and his thoughts on how best to learn. While everyone learns differently, it is very common for interaction to promote the best type of learning. It’s important to listen to our teachers, but we should get involved to truly learn.
Leonardo da Vinci was a great mind, and his contributions to society were just as great. Many people may try to avoid learning because they are lazy and don’t want to put forth the effort. While you can certain get mentally exhausted, it is not proper learning that exhausts your mind. Learning actually stimulates your mind, if it’s done properly.
How do you properly learn? Through repetition, as Declara founder Ramona Pierson learned when she was learning to walk and talk again after a tragic accident. Quite often, repeating something is the best way to learn it, so don’t be afraid of a little redundancy when learning.
Confucius was very wise, and his contributions to learning are almost endless. This timeless quote makes it clear that learning and thinking to hand in hand, and that failing to learn can be extremely dangerous.
Yes, you are taught many things in school, but how many of them did you truly learn? How much do you remember today? What you remember today of what you learned in school is true education and learning, because it has stuck with you throughout the years.
Bruce Lee was more than just a skilled martial artist, he was also an accomplished learner and teacher, as well as a philosopher. It is absolutely true that asking questions, no matter how foolish they may seem, does much more to promote learning than reciting facts and figures without stopping to listen and think about what needs to be learned.
Euripides was one of the wisest philosophers and playrights of the classic Athens age. On par with Socrates, Euripides points out that you should ask questions and listen to the answers, rather than trying to show off what you know.
Once you already know how to do something, continuing to do it is simply pointless reptition. Keep learning by finding new things to do, or new ways to do the old things. If you cannot do something, try to do it and learn how!
Lou Holtz restresses what Euripides told us: we learn by asking questions and listening to the answers. Sure, it’s important to help others learn by answering their questions, but it is even more important to continue your own learning by asking questions and then listening carefully.
How many people learned to walk by following a how-to guide? Chances are, not many, because that’s not a way to learn. To learn is to do, and to fail. From our mistakes come learning.
I’ve said this many times, and I’ll say it again. Never stop learning. What Gandhi is saying here is that you should learn as if the stuff you’re learning will be crucial to you even hundreds of years from now, as if you were going to live forever.
To end out this article, we’ll turn to an unlikely source: Jack Nicholson. He’s absolutely right, though, that someone who stops learning might as well be dead, because they are stagnant intellectually. Always be learning, and always keep stretching your intellect.
Featured photo credit: PicJumbo via picjumbo.com
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