Thursday, October 23, 2008

What is Worth Learning?

I owe Stephen Downes who writes the blog, Stephen's Web, for this question. His article, "Things You Really Need to Learn," is a great read, imperfect, but a great read. And I suspect that the greater point: Our learning is imperfect, or at least it is ever evolving. What I learn as a youth has a life lasting impact, yet I learn must differently as an adult, and happily so. Mr. Downes is putting a human touch on learning, something that I rarely see, in reaction to an article by Guy Kowasaki in which learning is a mere currency and success could be measured in dollar signs and titles. I prefer to fall on Mr. Downes' side where learning includes all of us, where learning has deep impact beyond earning power, and where things like caring for self and others is an admirable pursuit. The article reminded me of a story I read by Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, about three kinds of men. Blogger Dave Englund outlines the article quite well. Rohr, I think, would agree with some points that Downes makes but disagree with others. The third kind of man is the one who "enters, teaches, recognizes what others are thinking, commands, questions and calmly acts." Both Rohr and Downes have something to say about learning and living. But there are differences in the two, I think. What do you think?

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