As a WordSmith, I ponder. What does “learning” mean? When do you learn? How does learning happen?

My experiences with the word “learning” is best expressed in my mother tongue, Bahasa Melayu.

Learning is (i) timba ilmu and (ii) belajar. See the difference?

`Timba ilmu‘ is time spent receiving knowledge ie going to school, college and university; orientation at work ie onboarding and workshops and anything that you do when someone downloads and you receive knowledge that usually results in various note taking and journaling.

Have you learned after you’re done notetaking? No la…after all that downloading, you are in the state of “I KNOW”.

`Belajar‘ happens when you experience a learning curve or learning experience. Life happens…work happens…and responsibility is undertaken etc.

Something needs to have happened for you to experience before learning happens…ie,
(I) you experience an electric shock means you learn not to stick your fingers into the socket.
(II) you got a C grade in your exams means you did not study enough, so go hit the books before the next exam.
(III) you crashed into the car in front of you means you need to STOP TEXTING and DRIVING.

Did learning happen? Owh yes! Electric shock is not funny. Getting a C mean getting a C-ane too. Paying for repairs for two cars will definitely give you an AWSOME learning experience – don’t you agree?

So, what is Lifelong Learning?

It’s not not in a book or in your diploma or anything else that we buy to boost the ego. All these are good to have to jumpstart your learning journey but learning cannot be bought.

Learning is in living and screwing up …when you have the opportunity to make corrections, you’ll know you have a learning experience.

That is why we stop learning learning only when we die.

Happy living. Happy learning.

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