I love learning, and no matter where I am, I can’t seem to escape it. I started going to community college this fall, and I’m loving it. I love sitting in a classroom and feeling all this information floating around me, just within my reach. It feels like there’s a wealth of knowledge out there, and if I work hard enough, I can get all of it.
My learning doesn’t stop with schooling. Recently I’ve been spending my free time watching TED talks. I love hearing people talking about the things they’re passionate about, and learning about things I never even knew I wanted to learn about. I’ve watched talks on Syrian refugees, giant squid, and an African boy who designed a system to keep lions away from his cows without killing the lions.
Learning and knowledge have been important to me for as long as I can remember. In my family, knowledge meant winning arguments. My family really valued knowledge. All of us read profusely, and certain siblings of mine would pour over encyclopedias, atlases, and anything that could impart information. Being the youngest, I always looked up to them and wished that I could be as smart as them. Being smart was cool, not weird. Because of this, knowledge always meant power to me.
Another reason I love learning, is that I feel like, the more I know, the better I can put myself into another person’s shoes, and realize that the world doesn’t revolve around me. Knowing that there are people dying for their faith, that slavery is not a thing of the past, and that somewhere someone is dying because they don’t have access to clean water reminds me that what seems like a big problem really is manageable.
In one of my classes the instructor asked us what it was that drives us, specifically relating to our schooling. I didn’t have an answer right away, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the thing that drives me is my desire to change the world for the better. For me, knowledge is first step I can take towards that goal.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning, and, honestly, I don’t want to. I want to learn new things up until the day I die. Because with learning, and with knowledge, comes the power to change lives, to put yourself into someone else’s shoes, and to leave the world in a better place that it was when we came to it.