The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”
–B.B. King

B.B. King, you said a mouthful! Learning is something you have forever, something you can get any time you like, at least in this country and  something that, thanks to a wonderful library system, you can get for free. That’s the reason that levies for libraries are the only levies for which I vote “yes.”

The biggest problem I see is there are just too many interesting things to learn! As I mentioned yesterday, I think green roofs are interesting. So are photography, gardens, biking, opera, music, computers (and learning how to control them, if that’s even possible), baking, blogging, garbage, vertical farming, history, art, education; choices ad infinitum. So many interesting things, so little time; time that’s also needed for everyday things. The trick is to decide whether to specialize in one interesting thing at a time or dabble a bit in a lot of different things. Every time I go to the library and do any browsing, I have to be prepared for a concerted attack by a plethora of books on a variety of fascinating subjects, each one sending out the subliminal message “Read me; read me.”

There are other ways to learn,too. The internet expands the ways to learn and brings them even closer. You can learn free from some of the best minds in the world. You can access all sorts of information in just a few seconds, even though as with much else, you have to be careful about what you take as truth. You can get books and lectures on CD or watch DVD’s that take you all over the world. You can learn about the constitution from outstanding teachers (https://constitution.hillsdale.edu/sslpage.aspx?pid=824), buy lectures at places like http://www.thegreatcourses.com/ or just check them out at the library. Even if you don’t own a computer, you can use one at your local library. Can you tell I love libraries?

There are art and natural history museums, a Spam museum (http://www.spam.com/spam-101/the-spam-museum), at least one mustard museum (http://mustardmuseum.com/) , maritime collections (http://www.noblemaritime.org/) and so on. Practically everything you can think of or are interested in has a museum somewhere, even if you can’t get to it! But you can probably read about It online or find a tour of it on DVD. You can see collections around the world this way. When our girls were little, we had a membership at Cleveland’s Natural History Museum. This meant that when they wanted to leave after fifteen minutes, I didn’t mine and knew we could just come back another time. Cleveland’s world-class art museum is free, although a membership gives you free access to all special exhibits.

You can also learn from people, not just via technology, but in person. There are docents at museums, inexpensive classes through community service programs and people willing to talk with you about their passions. You might even find someone willing to be a mentor or teacher to something you’d like to know more about and learn from them hands-on. Or you might trade time and work for someone teaching you.

How wonderful to have so many choices, although sometimes frustrating because of the variety and a lack of time! What a blessing to live somewhere this is possible! None of us has an excuse not to delve into and grab with both hands (and maybe your toes, too), something so precious, so good for you, something you can have forever and pass on to your children or to others as well. Go out today and learn something new and then pass it on.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, that or the other thing.

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