Posted by: Diane | October 24, 2011

Are You Still Learning?

Here’s a little titbit of trivia – Michelangelo, the master Italian Renaissance painter said, “I am still learning” at age 87.

That inspires me. I really do want to be a life long learner. I don’t want to “close down.”  I have met older people who have settled into “their ways” and they miss so much life. I will never know it all and I want to keep learning until the day I die.

One of the highlights of my weekend was a sit-down-chat with Vera. As I was speaking to a group of women on Saturday morning, my eyes kept landing on this older woman. She was listening intently, nodding and smiling as I challenged all the women about taking risks and being fearless as we “step into new shoes” experiences. When I finished speaking, I headed straight to Vera.  I really wanted to listen to Vera.

We connected right away. Before I could ask her a question, she grabbed my hand tightly, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Diane, you have inspired me to get back to my writing. Thank you for reminding me that I have a voice.”   I could have spent the rest of the day with this wise woman. She exuded enthusiasm and perseverance, a malleable spirit and a hope anchored in Jesus Christ – everything I desire to be as I get older.

Life long learning means going through each day with eyes wide open and enthusiastically seeking new discoveries. It means leaving the familiar and moving into the unfamiliar.  The Chinese have a saying that aptly describes this aspect of the human condition. It goes, “Learning is like rowing upstream – to not advance is to drop back.

Older people have so much to tell us. There is so much more to learn.

The last time that Phoenie visited us, he guessed my age to be 75.  Hm……not sure what to think about that!

I tried to change the subject but Phoenie continued with, “Nana, when you get old, will your heart still be happy?”  ( I guess 75 is young!) Before I had a chance to answer, he started to sing a song that he had learned at school about Jesus making our hearts happy forever. “Keep learning about Jesus, keep learning about joy, He will make your heart be happy, every girl and boy. 

Make that every man and woman too.  I want to grow old with a happy heart and a teachable spirit. Thank you, Vera…for enriching my life with your loving presence and your encouraging words.

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