Things Gone and Things Still Here (jette) wrote,
Things Gone and Things Still Here

The Fifth Question

pjammer's question to me, based on my earlier answers:

Q5: Jette, from your answers, you've demonstrated a strong appetite for learning and acquiring new knowledge. What is your fondest memory of that 'a-HA!' moment when you learned something particularly resonant with you? What do you most wish your children to learn before they reach adulthood, and why?

This question was hard for me, because while I know what you mean by that, the only really resonant a-ha moments have been when I suddenly found I knew something "in the gut" instead of just in my head. There is a big difference between knowing something and knowing something, and when I suddenly know something I thought I knew is far more memorable than when I learn something new. Such as the dream I once had where a village suffering from a plague demonstrated to me the emotional impact of the early days of the AIDS epidemic. Or the time I suddenly really got the Platonic ideal. Or when I read a translation of the gospels that brought home everything that reading Alan Watts had to say about the similarities in Western and Eastern religious philosophy.

I asked my husband the second part of the question, and he said "I just want them to learn how to be civil." I thought this was a splendid answer. I also want very much for them to learn how to learn, where to look for the answers. There is no real wealth, including intellectual wealth, if it is limited to what you already have. A person with a big stack of gold has far less than a person with no gold but a skill that can be useful anywhere, because material things can always be lost. Likewise, it doesn't matter how much you know about one subject, it's knowing who to ask about something you are not knowledgeable about that is really useful.
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