Thursday, October 28th, 2021

P Shopper Columns


When we are not enrolled in lessons or academic programs, learning can be far from the forefront of our minds. We don't always seek enrichment, even though it is out there, waiting for us. In school, my classmates and I were often urged to appreciate our free public education, as it was a privilege some children never had. Even outside of school, many of us are fortunate to have access to a wealth of information. Our planet is brimming with knowledge, theories, and culture. Having the answer to almost any question available right at our fingertips is remarkable.

Consider how, in order to grow, plants must continuously absorb sunlight, water, and nutrients. Without these things they cannot mature. Our intellectual growth works the same way; it is dependent upon what we absorb- what we find for ourselves to facilitate that growth.

Our planet is brimming with
knowledge, theories, and culture...
Explore what is unknown
and what makes you curious.

We learn until we die; how much depends on the tenacity of our pursuit. As Dr. Seuss put it, "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Learning can seem daunting, but I encourage you: pursue knowledge. Choosing to learn about our world enables us to more fully understand, appreciate, and participate in it. In Greek author Nikos Kazantzakis's novel Zorba the Greek, Nikos writes, "I should learn to run, to wrestle, to swim, to ride horses, to row, to drive a car, to fire a rifle. I should fill my soul with flesh. I should fill my flesh with soul." 

To reference one more pertinent quote, there is a lyric in the song "Drops of Jupiter" by Train: "She checks out Mozart while she does Tae Bo, reminds me that there's room to grow." In other words, experiment with new things. Explore what is unknown and what makes you curious. Whether it's learning something new each week, deciding to practice a skill, or occasionally listening to language lessons instead of music, there are so many ways to expand our knowledge. You are never too old to learn, nor should finances be a barrier. Sometimes learning can be as easy as visiting the library, or listening to other people, such as seniors who have experience and knowledge. You can glean enrichment from travels, whether inside or outside of your own city, and from simply slowing down to acknowledge and benefit from learning moments in your own personal life. This is the time of year for resolutions, when so many people are making promises to themselves in an effort to improve their lives. Even if you don't make yearly resolutions, you can make a choice that will outlast this month and this year- a choice to seek answers, to be open-minded, and to embrace every opportunity to learn and grow.

Breonna Loxley is an animal care technician at an animal shelter. She is an avid artist, writer, and animal-lover. She lives with her parents, a younger brother, two cats, and one dog.