May 22, 2024

Whether one appreciates it or not, to live is to learn on a daily basis. Unless you simply repeat what you have always done, day in and day out, you are encountering at least slightly new situations which require you to think and lean in new and possibly challenging ways. Nothing is quite the same as it was decades ago, whether it be grocery shopping, driving a car, going to the doctor, or making career decisions, financial plans or political choices. The world has changed, and you and I must change with it!Adult education is based on the idea that there is much more change in life than might meet the eye. Among the most successful people around are those who embrace life conscientiously, learn constantly, and wrestle with life’s challenges and opportunities with an intelligent and thoughtful enthusiasm. In other words, those who “make good sense a way of life.” Some individuals have a natural curiosity and interest in ideas and things new. They enjoy learning and are easily comfortable, even happy, with change and growth. Others, however, seem to learn, grow and change only by being sort of “dragged through” life. They tend to have less of an appreciation of the somewhat exciting dynamics that growth and change present. Theoretically, adult education is good for everyone. But, only those who relish life will likely enjoy it.Adult education — sometimes referred to as “on-going education” — might resemble classroom learning in that you may register for, pay for, and attend a presentation or seminar in a formal classroom setting. But, very likely an adult education offering is shorter than courses of study at a high school, technical school, college or university. Each session is more “bite-sized” and is measured in clock hours rather than months or semesters. Usually anything resembling “homework” is optional and without any graded test or exam at the end of the session. Generally, the topic is very specialized and is intended to be informative, practical or insightful rather immediately. The purpose for each adult education opportunity is usually very specific and evident. At the end of the session, you leave with information usable almost at once.Almost any topic is worthy of adult education status because in 21st Century society an ever increasing awareness is a requirement for responsible participation and effective decision-making. Life planning, political issues, health and medical issues, life-style issues, how-to-do-it items, household management, business management, time management, physical self-care, philosophy, religious ideas, culture and the arts, and just about anything else can be included in fruitful adult education presentations. And, while sometimes “a little learning is a dangerous thing” (for learning is like money or power, much depends on how you use them), you can only begin serious learning from the beginning of the issue or idea. You must risk learning only a little before you can successfully learn a great deal. There is no 3-hour seminar which will make you competent to practice law or medicine, a 3-hour presentation can effectively help you learn more than you knew before. Thus, you can more reasonably and intelligently engage in a useful professional legal or medical consultation.If “ignorance is bliss,” then ignorance can also become very dangerous and expensive. Adult education is a great modern remedy for ignorance. It has been said that once one stops learning and thinking, one has effectively “died” intellectually. Adult education is a great preventative measure for an intellectual “premature death.” Everyone can do this. And it can be (in fact, it should be!) very enjoyable, even down right fun!Adult education opportunities are offered by schools and school districts, colleges and universities, professions and industries, and by private adult education companies. Some are free of charge and some cost a moderate tuition. A quality adult education presentation is always worth much more than it’s price. Search the web for “adult education” and similar key words and phrases, and you’ll likely find a whole host of opportunities to live intelligently and insightfully.