Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Life Learning

One of my favorite quotes on learning comes from Gandhi:

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever."

My great grandmother, who lived to be 99, always said that the day she quit learning something new, well that would be the end. My great grandmother outlived three husbands and raised about 10 children on various farms in Mississippi. For a simple hardworking woman with no education, she was pretty smart.

Much of who we are comes from a long line of experiences, both family and people we have met along the way. Here is what I have learned from some of the most prominent people in my life:

Dad – Forgiveness.
Mom – Always do what you know is right.
Husband - Be loving, always.
Younger Brother – Be honorable in all that you do.
Sister – Live life with no regrets. (Passed of cancer at age 51)
Older Brother – Be generous.
Nieces and nephews – Time goes by swiftly, the young grow quickly.
Great nieces – Have fun, loudly!
Co-workers – Teamwork and joy in success.
Patrons – Treat each person with respect and dignity.
Supervisor – Lead by example, guide with compassion.

I could go on and on, however you get the idea. Now, what does this have to do with learning new technology? I see technology as a tool, a means to an end. It seems to make the world a little smaller in that we have a way to share our experiences and what we have learned with so many people around the world. And in turn, we have a means to learn from the experiences of other people.

While many of us prefer the human touch, these technological tools can be used to connect us in a way even our parents never thought possible, much less our grandparents, etc. (While explaining new technologies to my mother, she refers to it as simply “weird”.)

Each one of us will need to decide how to use these tools, for what purpose, and even which tools work best for us. For me, I welcome the chance to learn something new, because I suppose the day I stop learning something new, well that will be the end.

Onward and Upward,