Monday, January 23, 2012

I Don’t Know...

   Education is a major concern in this country on many levels. There is much to be said about the educational system and how it can be improved. Unfortunately, this post isn’t about that. Learning is a process, a life long process in my opinion, that never ends as long as we remain open to the truth that there are things we simply do not know. Instead of the focus being on what we know or what we don’t know...perhaps it should be on what we are learning?
   Regardless of what formal education level is achieved, the process of taking in new information is ongoing. The choice to retain and apply any new information is a personal one and, in my opinion, beneficial to anyone that does so on a continual basis in all aspects of life. Education is not just school books and tests...although I will advocate that anyone reading this pursue that endeavor to highest of their ability. For many of us there comes a time when school is over...but when we realize that learning is not, we continue to grow is great and unique ways.
    My schooling didn’t go beyond high school, but I was fortunate to recognize the building blocks high school gave me for what they really were...keys to unlock unknown information. I have always been inspired by the bar scene in Good Will Hunting:

...and of course the classic line “ dropped a hundred and fifty grand on an education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.”  

   Although it’s a simplistic synopsis and not entirely accurate when considering certain subjects, I advocate autodidacticism...or more accurately, learning through teaching oneself. Take Prince for example...a self taught musician and producer, and very successful by the publicly accepted standard, even though it’s been said he simply makes his music for himself. My point is, learning is a process that must be willingly engaged to be most effective and our “education” doesn’t begin or end with formal schooling.
   I have found that for me, there is no shame or embarrassment in uttering the phrase “I don’t know.” It is simply an invitation to expand my horizons by learning...something, anything. Education is the best key to unlocking the opportunities of I encourage everyone to educate themselves continually, making today full of possibilities...and tomorrow much like today.
   Please peruse the links below as they have some very interesting information about the subject of self-education.


  1. Well stated as ever, my friend! As professional writer who went to art school, I am published and a regular contributor to three national blogs, a professional marketing writer in addition to writing for two of my own blogs and one that you and I write together. The point being that I can vouch first-hand for educating yourself and inserting yourself where you see a need for change and innovation. This is a grand topic near and dear to my heart. I wonder how many others out there can tell the tale of successful self-education.

    I am sure the post-secondary institutions and college industries would rile this conversation but it bears further dialogue. It's important. (Good Will Hunting is an All-Time Favorite of mine, BTW) Good topic!

    1. That's simply awesome Vader. You may not know, but I'm a fan of your work and it's just more of an inspiration to me to know your path to success mirrors my life philosophy about learning.

      I didn't intend to write this, but I took the answer of a friend on what to write next, "I don't know", literal...and applied it to a specific point in the conversation we were having about my personal educational background. I too wonder how many others here have a similar tale to tell about the lengths self-education has provided.

      After writing this, it struck me how important this topic is and how inspirational this post could be for someone not seeing this particular angle in the shape of their life. I hope this is the case.

      For anyone not aware of the shared blog ArthVader and I write together...please come share with us...

  2. That is so true. As an author and business man, I can relate to how you said "My point is, learning is a process that must be willingly engaged to be most effective and our “education” doesn’t begin or end with formal schooling". I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you're talking about. Can't wait to read more from you!

    1. Thank you very much for the compliment. I'd like to think I've learned a few things over the years and hope I can present that knowledge in a format that is useful to anyone that finds this blog. You have given me inspiration...and it is much appreciated.

  3. As Mark Twain said: "I never let my schooling get in the way of my education" There is so much more to be learned from life than one can acquire from any book or in any classroom.

    1. Agreed...which is why I'm a staunch advocate that learning is an ongoing process in every situation...and must be actively engaged.