Many people equate learning with an educational institution of some sort, be it grade school, high school, trade school or college. They usually equate it with spending a portion of their growing years in these institutions learning the basics of human survival, be it reading, writing and arithmetic or basic job skills. It is at these places, for the most part, where they interact with different people, develop interpersonal relationships and acquire a working knowledge of the real world. However, as one would easily attest to by merely looking around, the concept of learning is not simply limited to these learning institutions. Learning is a lifelong journey with wondrous surprises awaiting the journeyman. Learning is a constantly evolving organism that knows no limits and is constantly developing the human mind into new ways of thinking, acting, doing and living. It is the root of past discoveries and civilizations, the backbone of present ones and the catalyst of future ones. It is essentially what separates us from animals, and is exceedingly imperative in developing a closer, more intimate relationship with the Creator of the universe. Without it, humanity would be virtually non-existent.The common dictionary meaning for learning is “knowledge acquired by study.” By studying certain subjects found in books and magazines, such as mathematics or science, one can gather a concrete knowledge of the subject matter. By studying people, events and places around one, one can gather a general understanding of how they operate. By taking the time to properly study oneself, or as they call, soul-searching, one can gather a healthy, thorough, legitimate knowledge of oneself and one’s status in life, and how to continually improve oneself through good times and bad.With this in mind, it is relatively safe to say that learning is an integral part of human life, and embodies and enriches the very soul of the human being from the cradle to the grave. From a toddler learning to walk for the first time to a primary schooler learning their ABCs, it guides humans to the very basics of human life that would later become almost second nature. From a preteen and adolescent learning about themselves, their bodies and the world around them, to the young adult entering and striving to live in it, it guides them through good times and bad, through accomplishments and failures, through their many mistakes and discoveries. From mature adulthood to old age, it gives them the keys to oneness with the universe, one another and the Creator. No doubt learning is very essential and imperative for the human being to survive and thrive.Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, many people have a very shallow definition of learning, limiting it to various educational institutions and for a select few of the population. While these institutions serve a valuable purpose for the development of the individual, it is not their sole purpose. Moreover, it is not limited to the select few who have the means and the ends to obtain it. It is certainly not limited to those individuals who would use it to exploit others for personal gain. The purpose of learning is to enhance and develop the human mind, and to develop, nurture and enhance civilization. The purpose is to obtain learning and to share learning so that everybody can benefit, since everyone has to live in this world. For those who would use it for exploitative purposes, they must be retrained in the true value and purpose of learning, lest they gather control and influence and exert dire consequences as well as the fall of civilization, as their past history has eloquently taught us.In conclusion, learning is an important part of the development of the human being not limited to institutions of a certain place and time. With learning a basic human right and need, it is the individual’s responsibility to learn as much as possible about themselves, others and the world around them. They must use this knowledge to improve themselves, aid in the learning of others and contribute to civilization. They must also do their part to hold civilization to its proper standards, protecting it from those with sinister motives. This essay ends with a scripture from 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, that a workman needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”Jackson can be reached at jjackson@campustimes.org.



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