I’ve been back at school for a while now and considering that I am an older student surrounded by 20-somethings, I posed a question to my classmates about what learning does for them. Some of the answer I received back were in the vein of “I can make more knowledgeable choices”, “It allows me to find answers to problems faster” and “It has broadened my horizon on how to resolve issues at work and come up with new and fresh solutions.”
All these are great answers. Mine, is a little different. Learning has slowed me down and caused me to question myself more. It has certainly allowed me to bring up information to support my case faster, but overall, it has forced me to look at how I put things together, and what that means, not only to me but to the matter that I am working on.
It has also stripped away any notion that there is one way of accomplishing something. I have found that at work, I am much more open to asking questions and opinions. My decisions are still mine to make; however, I am more interested in other people’s stories and how they work through matters. I am not so quick to dismiss. I am also more confident with the decisions that I make.
It is said that knowledge is wisdom, but I would counter that understanding knowledge and how it works is wisdom. I have met professors who know quite a bit, but are far from wise and a few of my cohorts who are wise beyond their years. I certainly have more faith in the next generation than I did going into this. It’s not what you learn, it what you make of it.