On The Desire To Learn
Learning is, by far, the most important thing any human being can do. Everything else is dependant on knowledge. Everything you engage in, no matter how trivial, involves prior knowledge of some sort. I am not trying to make light of everything else that takes place in this existence (raising children, helping humanity, charity, etc.), but it is provable using logic and reason that this is the truth. Any deeds, no matter how good the intentions may be, will have negative results unless a certain amount of knowledge is acquired. My intention here is not to argue the truth of the importance of knowledge, but to show that the desire to learn is not something that is inherent in most people – regardless of the importance it has in their lives.
I believe the problem of having a lack of a desire to learn begins with schooling. Yes, schooling. The children aren’t taught to have a desire to learn, and about the importance of knowledge. They are simply told to go to school because it is “against the law” not to. When put in this undesirable situation, there is no reason for them to have any desire to learn. The children are forced to go through the routines and drills of the school day – feeling they have gained nothing because they are always concentrating on “passing.” The kids have no time to reflect on and take in what they’ve “learned.” Learning should be a gradual and relaxed process – not coerced.
I also feel that reason and logic are not impressed on young people enough – if it is at all. In the educational system, as in dogmatic religions, the children must believe and totally accept all theories and “facts” that the teachers give to them. If they do not submit to this information, they will “fail the final exam” at the end of the year. If children were taught to think for themselves, education would be much more objective and tremendously more effective. The educational system will not do this because it fears what will happen when children are taught at a young age to think for themselves. They won’t be so narrow-minded, and blindly accept everything that is told to them; they will become more informed and, more likely than not, become more critical of those in positions of authority.
This attitude toward education continues on through life – post-graduation, and after. Reading is thought of as an undesirable activity because of the way it was forced on the individual during his earlier years. This, in turn, tends to make any sort of learning undesirable because of the frustration and anger it is associated with. Is it any wonder that 40 MILLION Americans have VERY LOW literacy skills? 1 About 48% of Americans have LOW or VERY LOW literacy skills! 2 I find these statistics, to say the least, disheartening.
Moving Toward a Solution
I encourage any person that may be reading this (whom I admire greatly, seeing that you’ve read this far J), to pick up a book – non-fiction. Any subject. Read it, and keep a dictionary at your side. As I mentioned before, it won’t be fun because of the trauma you’ve experienced from your years in school. Just try to ignore it and begin your journey into learning. I took these same first steps. It wasn’t fun, but once I started learning, a whole new world opened up for me. I encourage you to do the same! Ignorance is a terrible disease to be inflicted with.
1 and 2 http://www.verizonreads.net