Whether we like it or not, whether we enjoy it or not, whether we realise it’s happening or not, learning is all around us. It’s a part of us, it’s a force of nature that for me is one of the most precious in the whole Universe. One could also argue that it’s a key to life itself and is the very fabric of evolution and certainly civilisation.
Let’s explore this a little. Since the dawn of time, since the very first organisms of life existed, it has sought out and found a better way. It has had to in order to survive. And when a better way is found, change takes place, life adjusts and then evolves into a newer, better version that is able to continue. For millennia, this has happened, time after time, after time. However, and this is the part that fascinates me the most, finding a better way is not something that just happens and is where learning plays it’s crucial part. In order to find a better way, life has to learn. Life has to establish what works and what doesn’t, what’s successful and what isn’t and what will enable it to survive and flourish so that life itself can continue. This is very much trial and error and a difficult process, where the weakest sadly don’t survive, however, eventually, learning takes it’s bow and life finds a way, adapts, evolves and gets better.
And this leads us to now, with the world as we know it, with all the technology and marvels of science we have around us. But how did all this happen? It happened because as a species, we are an integral part of life and have an undeniable and inescapable instinct to make things better, to improve, to survive. And to do that we had to learn stuff. It’s that simple. Now I get there are elements of our world and of life that are not very good, in fact, some are absolutely horrible, but I would ask again, how does this happen? Well, for me, this time it’s the opposite, it’s because we don’t actually always learn and so life works against us.
This brings me back to my original thought of learning being the most precious force of nature in the whole universe. If indeed it is and I truly do believe that, then it is also something we should embrace, purposefully seek out at every opportunity and protect with every fibre of our being, instead of ignoring it and seeing it as an obstacle to life. And I get that learning is difficult, life is difficult if we choose to perceive it that way, however learning can only lead to positive change, improvement and a better life, if we use it.
My last point is this, and probably my most important. For those of us that facilitate learning and help others to improve and be better, we are a key part of the process that means life finds a way, adapts and gets better. This for me, is one of the biggest responsibilities that anyone can have and cannot be taken lightly. We all have a responsibility to ourselves, our profession and most importantly our learners to do and be the very best we can be because we have an impact on life itself. We are accountable for not only what we do, but how and why we do it. We have a responsibility to uphold and have the highest of standards and to ensure we keep learning ourselves and for the benefit of our learners and the lives we impact, not just ourselves and our own success.
Learning is a very serious business and needs to be taken seriously because it’s the most precious force of nature in the whole Universe.