I know I’ve heard people recently dismissing the concept of lifelong learning as a waste of time, but I beg to differ. There is something incredibly freeing about the idea that we can develop new skills, change our mind, try something different.
On a deeper level, being ‘teachable’ when hard times hit is the only way we can move on. If our emotional response is simply on repeat, then we will never unstick ourselves from the pain. Of course the grief will never leave us, but if we can plan a way forward through it, then that’s better than always turning back into it.
The worst thing is if something similar happens again to somebody else and we just take out our old, ineffective tools to deal with it.
There’s a cycle in adult education, possibly taught by Paulo Freire, that is – reflect – practise – reflect. If only we could reflect on our previous thoughts and behaviours, maybe we would do better the next time.
On another point, I am well aware I keep on making the same mistakes, omitting to do the one thing that has been recommended to me countless times. ‘You must keep a record of your health.’ The doctor said it to me yesterday, and I nodded seriously. I’ve been nodding not doing for nine years now. An old dog, that’s me.
It’s time for new tricks methinks.