Wednesday, September 8, 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 onwards, after dinner, every child would tell the others a new thing that he/she learnt that day. So from then on, every night, each child would come up with a new word, a new technology news or anything and shared with the rest. So in the process, not only all the children learnt a new thing, the man himself learnt something new (if he hadn’t known it before) and also did his illiterate wife. So without making it a formal education for his wife, a forum was made where she also started learning and became wiser. It was long after the death of her husband, did the children confide with their mother 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/her learn or understand what he/she doesn’t know. If we keep doing this, not only our own learning will improve (for trying to find out new things) but also our sharing of knowledge gets an audience and in the end helping in 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.