Education and Learning – Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?


This chapter might as easily have been named “Learning,” for it’s the idea of education and learning that should never end which has value – if you hope to live a truly joyful life.

In fact, life itself is a grad school of invaluable proportion, with daily lessons to appreciate and contemplate. As I explain in my book, The ABCs of Joyful Living, you are getting a great education every day, simply by living. Life itself is one of the greatest teachers. All the books we read, classes we attend, professors we listen to, documentaries we watch, and various degrees we receive, although extremely valuable, will never quite teach us as much as life will.

So then, if life teaches us so much what is the value of so-called “formal” education? As you seek to live a more joyful life, such an education can provide you with the wisdom and knowledge about how to do so.

I believe education is a value in itself, that learning about life and about ourselves is liberating and exciting. I also believe that sharing what we learn with others increases our ability to learn and expands our knowledge and joy in what we learn.

After all, If I didn’t think it was valuable to share what I’ve learned, I wouldn’t write these blog posts, and would not have written my book. If you didn’t think it was valuable to learn from others, you probably wouldn’t read either.

Cracking the Egg – How I Scrambled to Educate My Kids

While education may be a value in itself, how people learn varies greatly, as I discovered clearly from my own children. As I explain in some depth in my book, while all of my children at first did well in our local public school system, there came a time when two of them began to struggle. In each case, steps had to be taken yet, once again, the solution for each of my boys differed.

When my oldest son began to struggle at school, with both physical and emotional challenges to overcome, I discovered a small private school with shorter hours, smaller classes, and different modes of teaching. He thrived in the new environment. He learned to love learning and gained greater confidence in himself and his abilities.

All was well with the world and my family until, some years later, another son began to struggle with the public school system, not functioning as he was “supposed to” and wanting to do things differently. Well, I now had the experience I needed to accept that there must be a better way for him too. The interesting thing is, our solution evolved from my first son; this boy does best with a mix of public school and home schooling.

The beauty of both experiences is that we were willing to listen to the individual needs of each of the boys; the joy within that tells us when something is out of balance, and then lets us know we’ve hit the right wavelength for them to learn in the way that suits them best.

Education and learning are so intimately tied to experiencing joy that, if you somehow convince yourself that you already “know enough”, you’re sure to still that voice of joy within you. What a shame that would be.

Are you surprised to discover that education is inherent to your ability to regularly experience joy? If you’d like to learn more about how and why this is true, grab a copy of my book, The ABCs of Joyful Living, and let me know how the steps I outline in it have helped you have more joy.

Leave a Reply