Learning is the road to understanding. The problem is, most people stop at the first little hill or at the first corner. There was a time when young people were taught things. They were taught discipline, to start and finish a job, to do things right or at least the best they could, and not quit until it was right. When young people are not taught how to learn, they copy. This is not bad, but it does develop bad habits. When we copy, there is no patience or discipline required. Most people like this. When people are copying, they don’t like to be told what to do or be corrected. They usually want to go off by themselves to practice. If they aren’t doing it right or learning how to do it right, they will get very good at doing it wrong.
When I was young we hired a crew of fifteen to twenty men when we put up hay. This would often only last for two or three days, and we might never see these men again. The next time we needed a crew, they may be all different men. One day, when I was 7 or 8 years old I was helping hook up a team of horses. One of these men was walking by, he hit me along side of the head and almost knocked me down. He said, “You aren’t doing that right.” He stood right there and made me do everything and do it right. I don’t think I ever saw that man again, but almost 70 years later I still know how to hook up a team.
We always grew a big garden. Every Tuesday everyone went to the garden. If it was during haying, the whole crew went. The kids worked right along side the adults and were expected to do things right. Today, I still enjoy weeding a garden. When you know how to do something and are taught the patience and discipline to finish what you start, you will do a good job and you will enjoy it.
What has that got to do with today? Young people today, or at least most of them, are not taught how to learn. To me, a young person is anyone born after 1960. That’s about when people quit teaching their kids. Now people are running around trying to find something to copy that will allow them to make a lot of money with no work, or at least only the work that they want to do, when they want to do it.
When someone tries to teach people who don’t know how to learn, there is a problem. The student will change or ignore the parts they don’t like or don’t want to do. Learning is understanding, not just taking what you like or changing parts to suit yourself. If you really want to understand something, then take the time to learn how to learn. If you want to copy something you feel is good, then don’t change anything. If you change parts of it, it may not be good anymore. There is so much information available today, but if you don’t know how to learn, the information may do little or no good at all.
I still use a pencil and paper. I also have a big eraser. This is something we all need. If something isn’t right, erase it and make it right. If we understand, really understand something, know how to learn, have patience and discipline and use them, then it’s easy to run a business or do a good job.
Learn and you can Smile and Mean it!