Isaac Asimov suggested that people think of education as something they can finish.
I’m with him entirely. It really should be never-ending.
The day I stop learning? Well, it will be the day I stop.
The other day I was on a long car journey, so downloaded the most wonderful radio performance of Willy Russell’s superb Educating Rita (Bill Nighy as Frank and Laura Dos Santos as the eponymous learner). It whiled away a very happy journey from Wales to Liverpool. And this particular piece of dialogue (just one tiny gem in a plethora of magical words) expanded so aptly on this theme of lifelong learning:
“Frank: Are you a good ladies’ hairdresser, Rita?
Rita: Yeah, I am. But they expect too much, you know. Like, women come in the hairdresser’s and half an hour later they wanna walk out a different person. You know, but I mean, if you wanna change, you’ve got to do it from the inside, haven’t you, like I’m trying to do. Do you think I’ll be able to learn?
Frank: Are you sure you’re serious about wanting to learn?
Rita: I’m dead serious, yeah. I know I take the piss but that’s only because I’m not, well, confident, like. But I want to be. Honest. When, you know, when do you actually start teaching me, like?
Frank: What can I teach you?
Frank: You want a lot.”
That’s it entirely. Want a lot. With learning, it’s never enough.