Don’t be afraid of learning


When I was studying at Lund University I made this sketch. A university student being chased through the park Lundagård behind Lund Cathedral by the giant Finn, (or Fionn in Gaelic). The old legend said that the giant Finn helped a monk to build the cathedral, and a picture in the cathedral crypt is said to depict either Samson or the giant Finn. My drawing here may in this case represent the sometimes ambivalent attitude about knowledge and learning. As we all know there are different forms of learning and skills, different forms of intelligence and how that intelligence manifests itself. Schooling is important for some learning, especially if we want to learn more intricate things, theories, connections etc., but other forms of intelligence is more concrete, based on learning by doing. We learn how to walk, ride a bicycle, run, some learn the tricks of being street-smart, without going to school. Some intelligent entrepreneurs do not have that much higher education, but succeed nevertheless. You might become a cook, police, music producer, restaurant owner etc. Nevertheless, most trades need some form of education and skill, even though we might be skilled in very different ways. One talent doesn’t necessarily have to be better than the other, but knowledge and learning are essential for our very existence.

Most of us have at least some form of different talents, but are bad at other things. How we develop during our childhood and adolescence is nevertheless important. Depending on what values we grow up with, what kind of friends we have, what we learn in school, the experiences we make as we grow up and also our life experiences as adults, everything influence us. On top of all this there are various trends in the society we live in, different norms and values, which to some extent change over time. New technology is developed and new ways of communication with them. The mix of people from different backgrounds also influence new trends, but also clashes between ideas, ideologies and perceptions of what is true and what is not. We learn from each other, from our every-day lifes, our jobs and different forms of education.

Then again, some knowledge seem to be sneered at, or misunderstood. We thrive in different environments and clusters of people. The hateful attacks on people on the internet, evil gossip, slander, libel, and hate crimes in real life are worrying and unacceptable tendencies. Still we’re are different. If you’re an artist or a farmer you most likely won’t thrive among bankers. If you’re a doctor you may not feel comfortable among carpenters or kinder garden teachers. Then again, many of us also have different skills and education. You could for example be working as an IT technician during the days, and be a ballet dancer in the evenings. There are so many variations on our personalities and knowledges. The important thing is to keep and open mind, not to be afraid of different people, various ideas and backgrounds or to learn new things. Then again most of us also have our limits for what we’re able to learn. If you suffer from dyslexia e.g. you may not succeed as book editor  or if you suffer from dyscalcyly and have problems counting you shouldn’t become a banker. If you’re talented working with your hands, you may thrive as a carpenter or painter, but wouldn’t stand or cope working as an accountant.

The bottom line is that we shouldn’t be afraid of learning, but also to see the value in different forms of skills and not sneer at this knowledge or that. The diversity in our society is emperative and I hope that more of us will be able to get to know each other without blinkers for our eyes. We have different values, yes, we may dislike and disagree on many things, we may quarrel and dislike certain values and behaviour, but we shouldn’t go so far that we attack individuals, parties for their convictions, religion, ethnic background, sexuality or gender. Not in any direction. Be proud of who you are, develop, learn from others and develop as individual.

Anders Moberg, January the 25th 2013


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