To learn and to grow

Children are natural learners. As long as their basic needs are met, their thirst for new information and experiences is boundless. If they’re happy and have interesting things to do and safe places in which to do them, that’s even better.

Neuroscience research tells us that 90% of a child’s brain development occurs at a lightning-fast pace between birth and the age of five. Children soak up information and skills from what they see and hear others do and through their own trial and error. Every sight, smell, sound, and sensation makes an impact. Long before their first step into a classroom, their neurons are building networks, their cognition is exploding, their language skills are developing, and they’re laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning.

But for many of us that torrent of learning turns into a gentle stream and eventually a trickle. Life happens. Stress and responsibilities cloud our minds, and our own growth and learning take a back step to things that seem more important—or in any case, more urgent.

It was Gandhi who said, “Learn as if you were to live forever.” Even though our time on earth is limited, we’re not meant to stop growing and learning. Part of finding and sustaining happiness is remaining open to new things as time passes, though it’s not always easy to do this.

Some of the greatest moments in life revolve around learning something, no matter how small it may be.