Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Oct 19

You Live, You Learn (And Why Wouldn’t You Want To?)

I have been meaning to write this blog post for some time.  It’s probably good that I didn’t get to it before now, but I won’t be able to explain why until after i get right into it.

One of the crucial elements of who I am is that I like to learn. I rediscovered this a little over a year ago when I dove head-first back into reading. My focus was on science, and I loved nearly every word of every page.

I have since then devoured books by Nye, Sagan, Feynman, Hawking and more. I’ve dying to read more books by Mary Roach, and my eBook wait/hold list contains far more nonfiction titles than fiction.

But it’s not just books. I like podcasts that teach me new things. Blogs. TED talks. I go to events hosted by the historical society. It’s downright nerdy.

You might call me an epistemophiliac or epistemophile:

one who excessively strives for knowledge, or has a preoccupation with it

I want to know, and I want to know more.

In fact, I have said more than a time or two that I have little time for fiction because what’s happening around us in the real world is already so fascinating. I mean, teach me how and why something works — even if  I don’t necessarily care about the subject — and I will find it mildly interesting. Who knew I had an interest in astronomy or economics, for instance, before I delved into them? Now, I listen to podcasts (like these) on them on a weekly basis.

While not every subject will be riveting, I could certainly appreciate an engaging conversation about the science or history of most topics. Say, a sport. Teach me something, and I will try to take something away from it.

On the other end, I will often excitedly go on about something I recently learned and cannot keep to myself. I can only hope I’m a fraction as endearing as Carl Sagan with his childlike wonder.

It comes easily to me, to be honest. I may have forgotten how much I liked learning and may not have been super proactive about it, but I still liked it. That leads me to my main thought of this post:

I do not understand people who don’t enjoy learning, who aren’t curious about the world, who don’t want to add to their knowledge.

It’s not just that it’s a simple pleasure. It’s practical, pragmatic. Seeking knowledge helps you do more, save money, hold better conversations and feel more self-assured to name just a few benefits.

It might lead you to skills that are sellable and better jobs or more prestige. Although, those things are less of a concern for me. I may spend too much time learning things that are of no immediate use.

Because learning is fun. And it’s easier than ever, thanks to the Internet.

Maybe I can’t understand the way people don’t care for or actively dislike learning; although, I certainly don’t mind not allowing myself to understand this shortcoming of others. Forgive me that pretense. I am sure you can understand.

As a general rule, I don’t find people who don’t enjoy learning new things — and occasionally learning them from me — to be particularly interesting. I want to learn about the world and have discussions about ideas and things that are greater than gossip, your 9-to-5 job, or the weather. Sorrynotsorry.

Don’t get me wrong. I have surrounded by myself with people who enjoy learning or who, at the very least, appreciate my love of learning. It still just boggles my mind that anything doesn’t.

Now, the reason why waiting was a good idea? After my friend died, I enjoyed a lot of mindless/easy media. I consumed more comics than books on science. I pretty much stopped listening to podcasts because, when I did, I found myself tuning out. 30 minutes to an hour would pass, and I had no idea what I just listened to. I couldn’t make myself care.

I wouldn’t write this post passionately while I was in that stage. I hope I’ve done it justice this morning.

With that, I’ve got more Sagan to read.


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