Friday, April 22, 2005

Learn as if you'll live forever

There's this life-long learning campaign they're touting in the papers for a while now.  Oh, but I'm learning new things everyday even though I'm not recognised with a certificate or degree for it.  But who needs it anyway?  Not me, at this age.  I prefer not to be tied down by normal practice of learning by memorising and taking an exam at the end of it so as just to get a piece of paper certifying that I have learnt something.  If it's for commercial purposes like getting a promotion or another executive appointment or what-not then it's fine.  But if it's just for framing up and hanging on the wall, forget it.  I'm not egoistic.  I'm also lazy.....


School is just to prepare you for a life of learning.  If you have a degree, fine.  That foundation gives you a better head start.  It just opens better doors for you.  But it doesn't guarantee you the 4 or 5 Cs that everybody dreams about.  Of course if you join the rat race at the time when that qualification is in great demand, that's your luck.  That is, if you're born in the right country or residing in the right country.  I know of a young lady from Myanmar with Masters in Engineering who is now working in Thailand as a production line supervisor.  (I'm always flattered she asks me a lot of technical questions.)  She has to be where there's a job.  There're none back home.


Back to learning.  I find I learn best when I'm actually using what I learn at the moment.  I also learn when I interact with people, be they young or old.  I wish there are more people my age group putting their headshots in this blog site.  Would be nice to know what they know, what they think and how they live their lives.  That doesn't mean I don't learn anything from younger people.  In fact, I learn most from them.  When they ask questions that stump me, I had to search for the answers.  I learnt some basic theories and systematic working methods from young engineers I have to work with, while they look to me for practical solutions to problems which one can't learn in school.


As the old saying goes: "Iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17)  Just keep learning as if you will live forever.

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