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Thursday, April 4, 2013

You Say I'm Foolish For Pushing This Aside...

    When I was growing up, I never took to reading. That is not to say at all that I am lazy, because the majority of my childhood was spent running around outside. Video games? No. I had a Game Boy, a Genesis, a Saturn, an N64, a Game.com, and most recently a Wii that I sold a while back. I always had video games but I never had the patience for them. Sitting still and pushing buttons was not really my thing, because, at the end of the day, I could not understand the purpose of them. But I also never read books, ever.
    I stayed on this path of not reading anything of substance all throughout high school. For me, high school was easy in every way other than math. In full disclosure, I never studied for anything outside of my normal assignments for any of my other classes and could fake a book report by skimming a few pages here and there. Putting together a story in my head was always a simple thing to do, I just really hated sitting in a chair and actually reading a book. In college, that changed, because if you are a Theology major, you do not have much of a choice about reading since the entire degree is based around a book. It was not until around this time that I started taking a bit of a more proactive approach to learning things more clearly by absorbing words into my brain instead of mindlessly spewing everything out onto a piece of paper and handing it in.
    Through all of this, I realized that I lost some time I cannot ever get back. My memory did not start holding in factual information on a large scale until I was forced to use it, but once that happened, everything changed for me. I was always the type of person who remembered events, regardless of significance, in great detail, but real information and learning? I had not ever made much of an effort to do that until after high school, so it did not matter much to me. There were a few things like playing guitar, cars, and the like that I can throw into the learning category within the time period, but most of that was a trial-and error situation where I either broke things or did the minimal amount of reading possible, because, at the end of the day, I am an idiot who sometimes takes the most difficult route in life.
    Currently, if you are around me enough, you will notice that I read constantly and am engulfed everyday in learning about something. I have become one of those people who tirelessly wants to learn every little thing about anything I come into contact with if it strikes my interest enough. The strange thing about all of this? I remember practically everything I read, just as I remembered events as a child. If I get a new guitar, I want to know the history of it, when that model was first sold, the different variants, neck shapes, everything. I bought an MGB once (that my dad told me not to) because I honestly wanted a car that was a huge pain in the ass in every way. That car lived up to my expectations and actually caught fire on three different occasions, but I loved it and I loved learning about it. I can still tell you anything you want to know if you decide to buy one of those little British road boogers, though I would not recommend it.
    When I worked in the golf industry, I learned everything I could about it and became frustrated when I hit a roadblock of something that was outside of my department or beyond what the corporate people wanted me to know about. I even read the forty-page operations manual for the golf carts we used at least twice, and nobody ever reads those. Today, if my dad and I are going somewhere and do not have anything to talk about during the commute, he probably assumes I am texting someone on my phone or sending some emails, but I am actually reading blogs, news articles, or Wikipedia, because I have come to the point of not being able to let my mind idle anymore, even on a short drive.
    I said all of this and told these stories for one reason, which is something I never thought I would say when I was younger: People in this world, with as much information as we have right in front of us should always be learning something. When we stop learning, we stop living and the progress of us all slows dramatically. We get so consumed by the mindless luxuries of television shows, irrelevant social settings, and unnecessary stress that we do not take the time to learn anymore. Sometimes we do need a little non-thought provoking entertainment, of course, but not continually. Unfortunately, I know just as many college graduates who learned nothing during that whole process as I do those who emerged more intelligent and driven than they went in. I find this pretty painful.
    Always looking for something new that we can apply to our lives and the lives of others is a huge necessity that often gets passed off as unimportant. We would rather pay someone else to figure out things for us than take the time to learn for ourselves and keep our brain power in check. I lived there for a long time, but am so much happier now that I have spent the last few years trying to learn all I can about everything that interests me. If you are happy where you are and would rather not pick up new mind-stimulations constantly, I will not judge you at all for it; that is not why I wrote this. But I think if we all just gave it a shot and tried to use our minds to their potential on a daily basis either creatively or in any other way that is not monotonous, the world could possibly make more sense and we could all be more receptive to the ideas of others.

Grace and Peace,

Current Song: The xx – Crystalised

Twitter: JdrewSilvers
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