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Life's Lessons

When people think about "learning" they visualize an educational setting, such as a classroom, library or museum. These are places to learn not the actually acquiring of the knowledge needed to expand their horizons. According to the online OxfordDictionaries the definition of Learning is "the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught". As you can see learning can take place by experiencing the world around you.

I would like to see every child have access to education on any level they wish to pursue. I do think though too much emphases has been put on what would be classified as "book learning". So many children are told to sit still in class and memorize what has been written so they can pass a test which is supposed to show how much they have learned. Instead it shows how well they do at memorizing what others think is important. They are not taught why it is important to know the information.

Over the last few months I have seen scattered attempts at getting people to start teaching everyday life's lessons to children. How to sew on a button, how to do laundry, how to balance a checkbook, how to shop for groceries, how to change a tire, how to tie a tie, how to apply for a job, simple manors and how to cook simple foods, to mention only a few.

One of the scariest things I was required to do in school was give an oral report. I was terrified standing there, put the "experience" helped me nurture the ability to talk to others. Being an extreme introvert made this lesson count in later life. I learned to look people in the eye, listen and give my opinion without breaking out in a cold sweat.

I heard someone say the other day, it should be up to the parents or guardians to teach these things to children. So many parents and guardians were never taught these things, so how can we expect them to pass on the knowledge.  Children and now adults need to learn how to interact with their peers and with the people they will meet in life. They need to feel confident they can make it though the normal world where they will be expected to know life skills.

We should all be learning from others as we walk through life. My grandfather used to say, "If you don't learn one new thing every day, the day was not worth living." He was talking about little things the same as larger life lessons. The "thing" might me as simple as red and blue make purple or as major as how to keep someone from bleeding. Everything counts.

How can you help? One way is by showing others the correct way. You don't have to embarrass the person by pointing out a wrong, just use the correct way yourself. If someone hears the words, thank you, please, you're welcome enough times they will start using it. Put your knowledge out there and encourage others to see and listen to what you can teach. Show do not tell.
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