Saturday, January 30, 2010

What Did You Learn Today?

It was long time back that I came across a one page article in the Readers’ Digest that left a profound effect on me to learn and be a better man every day. The article was about a man who had six children and an illiterate wife. As the children were growing, the man thought their learning may depress their illiterate mother for not knowing anything. So he came up with a novel idea. One day after the dinner, he announced that from the next day onward after dinner, every child would tell others one new thing that he/she learnt that day. So from then on, every night, each child would come up with a new word, new technology news or where the Devil’s Tower was (by clicking on the link, you will learn a new thing if you hadn't known it before). So in the process not only all the children added one new thing to their vocabulary, the man himself learnt something new (if he hadn’t known it before) and so did his illiterate wife (and so did you perhaps by knowing today where the Devil’s Tower is, if you hadn’t known it before). Thus without making it a formal education for his wife, a he created a forum of learning for his wife. It was long after the death of her husband, did the children confide with her the real philosophy behind their daily exercise of learning a new thing.

I learnt two things from that article, One: Do not keep a new thing that I learn to be kept to myself. It should be shared so that others know it. Two: If you think someone is ignorant or illiterate, make a novel effort to make him learn he doesn’t know before. If we keep doing this, not our own learning improves (for trying to find out new things) but also our sharing of knowledge gets an audience in a bid to spreading the knowledge to those who cannot read or have no access to books or libraries.

Try it – it will be both fun and soul satisfying.


Asghar Javed said...

This is a very noble sentiment. Teaching something to someone is 'learning twice'. Keep it up. BTW, I learn a great deal from you. Fact is that you can learn from every thing. No?

Jalal HB said...

U scratch my back and I yours - the same way I am in the process of learning many things from you. No? Yes of course....