The continuing education class requirement aggravated my friend not so much for the financial cost but because of the time investment.
Even though he holds multiple educational degrees, he’s not a fan of classroom-style learning and was not excited about sitting through this particular seminar class. And boy did his impression take an even worse turn after experiencing the class.
“The instructor, what an idiot,” my friend said. “I knew more than he did. It was a total waste of time.”
My friend outshines most in his field and likely did know more than the instructor, but I challenged him on his attitude because there had to be at least one tidbit he took away from the class. It’s like many classes we attend for various reasons. We might sit through hours of presentations merely to walk out with one new piece of information but that means we did learn something.
Granted I’m no fan of wasting time nor listening unnecessarily to a speaker whose content is drawn out or isn’t helpful but I always expect to learn something — and sometimes I learn a lot — from others no matter their level of experience, age or position.
I’ve also experienced some situations where I’ve learned what not to do and that’s a good lesson as well. Remaining teachable and eager to keep learning will keep us young at heart and sharp mentally, even as our physical bodies age and slow down.
Remaining teachable also cuts down on frustrations because there will always be something new to face.
I remember when smart TVs first came on the market. I didn’t know they take a minute to boot up and kept turning the one I was using on and off, on and off before I learned it wasn’t like the older-style TVs.
And who has driven one of the newer-model, eco-friendly cars and thought something was wrong when you stopped at a red light for the first time?
These cars are built with start-stop technology which allows it to move into a gas-saving idle mode when the brake is fully pressed. It starts back up when you press the gas again.
While I quickly learned how the start-stop technology works and easily adapted to it, it sure would have been nice for the rental car company representative to share that tidbit the first time I drove one of these cars.
So many of these random technology upgrades are instinctive to our younger friends. They flow naturally into each new release and the rest of us can learn from them. But that doesn’t mean they can’t learn from those they are teaching.
Basic life lessons that come with time and the ability to grasp all sides of a situation are two areas the younger among us can learn from those who have been around a bit longer.
And beyond learning for personal growth a willingness for all of us to listen to each other helps foster community.
Seeking to understand another’s position or concern doesn’t mean we have to support it, but it does prevent misconceptions that only lead to harm.