The Choice to Learn

With the constant influx of information and knowledge, why aren't we better at learning? When confronted with data that contradicts erroneous beliefs, why are we resistant to new learning that might help?  Consider these three obstacles: 

 

  1. 1. We are cannot learn to the degree we are certain we are right. Certainty suffocates curiosity. The more we are certain, the less we are able to learn something new. This is arrogance. 
  2. 2. We cannot learn when we dread being “wrong.” When being "wrong" is tied to shame, almost all learning stops. The same happens when we are more repulsed by the thought of an enemy being “right,” than by discovering what might be true. This is pride.  

 

When our best energies are deployed defending our beliefs or attacking another's, there is little left for honest inquiry. Pride and arrogance are potent obstacles, but they may be supported by something far more formidable.  

 

  1. 3. We cannot learn when we are afraid of change. When the fear of possible change  clouds our motives, we are practically immune to learning anything new. The problem is, we also become inoculated to growth… or life. 

 

Once you stop learning, you start dying. 

Albert Einstein

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