All too often, we hear of people who pursue post graduate studies, while others attend seminars or conduct research in order to improve their knowledge, with the sole purpose of achieving a pay raise or promotion at work. Although these incentives are highly respectable and mandatory in today’s competitive job market, we must delve into the deeper meaning of Lifelong Learning (LLL) and its actual benefits for both individuals and society.
Self-esteem. One obvious benefit of LLL is boosting one’s self-confidence. With proper knowledge of the topic at hand, he will not only excel at his performance, but will also feel the self-satisfaction of performing his duties at peak performance. This will, in turn, boost his self-respect and motivate him to work harder.
Self-Awareness. Through knowledge, one discovers his role in society and goals in life. When he is truly aware of his potential, his capabilities and interests, he views the world from a different perspective – his own. Knowing your place in this vast universe and the contribution you can make, not only to society but to your own self, should not be taken lightly. Realizing your ‘true’ purpose in life can be only achieved through continuous efforts in self-improvement.
A continuous thirst for knowledge. Though we can’t say knowledge is ‘addictive’, it does inspire us to passionately pursue it. Broadening your horizons not only in your field of interest, but also in multiple ones, is a logical culmination of the questions produced after absorbing new information.
Keeping up with a constantly developing world. If one does not aspire to keep himself informed and abreast of current events, he will lose the capacity of contributing to an ever-developing society, one which is feverishly blooming. It is mind-blowing to say the least if people wouldn’t follow the latest trends in technology, from simple things such as the use of an ATM machine to more elaborate functions such as purchasing a plane ticket online, which to senior citizens of our society, might seem a dire strait.
Memory retention and critical thinking. This benefit, in itself, is of the utmost importance. Having the unique ability to make your own decisions based on your own personal assumptions must be every individual’s goal. This can be only achieved after cultivating one’s own personality both on an educational and an informative level. This in turn, trains your mind to improve its memory capacity and retention, something many members of society fail to comprehend, only to suffer its consequences at an elderly age when our bodies slowly frail and with it too, our minds.
The never-ending goal of improving ourselves finds its roots in ancient times. As the Greek Philosopher Plato once stated, “If a man neglects education, he walks lame to the end of his life.“ Truer words have never been spoken, as education knows no limits, nor does man’s capacity to obtain it. The benefits of LLL are innumerous as one has only to look no further than the obvious… his own evolution.
by Katherine Reilly