Darn it. I got another ego boost the other day. Although a compliment can make me feel good, I also really try to be humble. I take pride in being that way. (I take pride in being humble? Huh?) But it happened. I’ll try to keep my ego in check, but the compliment inspired me to write this.
“Do you think about things before you say them?” She asked. “Like, do you think them out or, did you go to school for this? Cause you seem to know what you’re talking about.”
“No. I’m not in college.” I responded. “I’m what you’d call a nerd. I just get interested in something and then I learn everything I possibly can about it.”
Being an autodidact is fun, and kind of unusual, it seems. Its a new word for me – “autodidact”. It means someone who is self taught. Someone who has become knowledgable without having a formal education. Hey, that’s me. I have a fancy high school diploma, but that can hardly be described as “education”, much less “formal”. No, most of what I know I’ve learned by myself. I read a lot, I listen a lot, I watch a lot.
When I say “by myself” I don’t mean that I just sit alone at the library and read. I actually don’t go to the library, but I do sit alone and read a lot. But I also gather information from the people around me. I ask questions. I pick people’s brains. If I were to completely cut myself off from everyone I know, forget about my social life, and retreat to being a hermit, I might be able to read more, but I’m not sure I’d learn more. When I argue with people I learn. You can’t argue with a book. (Well, you can, but its kind of pointless.)
The older I get, the more I disagree with people. I’m not disagreeable. I’m not a jerk (at least I don’t think I am). But as we get older, and gain more and more ideas and beliefs we tend to become more separated from other people’s beliefs. No one’s influences are exactly the same, therefore we can’t expect to all have the same beliefs about everything. Someone who reads Noam Chomsky books isn’t going to have the same perspective as someone who reads Thomas Sowell. Someone who follows Joe Weider bodybuilding methods probably isn’t going to “get” someone who is into Mike Mentzer.
The more influences we have, the better we can make decisions about reality. Ironically, the more influences we have, the more original we become, and therefore our decisions will also be more original. Our lives will become more different from each other as we continue to learn and grow. Eh… I’m just rambling. Every once in a while we need a good “rambling post”.