What are you learning in LIFE 101

Unlike many children, I loved school, even though I started my education very early–shortly after my fourth birthday.
My dearly-loved Uncle Bill lived with us at the time and my teacher was his girlfriend, so I knew her as Aunt Vera before I had to call her Miss Peck.
And Aunt Vera thought I was ready for school at four.
Of course, I was delighted. Our house was just a stone’s throw away from the schoolhouse and as a three-year-old, I waited patiently for recess to find playmates.
Unfortunately, as much as I loved school, recess was always my favuorite subject. Even in high school, I didn’t study. So I was no honour student!
Happily, I did better in college. And by the time I entered graduate school, I loved studying and earned a straight ‘A’ average.
But in my early years, fun was my goal!
Since I didn’t study, I missed out on many of the basics. And even as an adult, there were many facts, particularly about geography, history, and science, I didn’t know.
For instance, in my first job as a high school teacher in Canada, I had to teach a geography class and yet had no idea where the Canadian provinces were located.
But on the other hand, I learned a lot about life at an early age.
I learned how to enjoy life and how to enjoy people. I learned to think and dream–dreaming what I could do when I grew up.
I learned how to get along with people and the importance of laughter. And most of all, I learned to read and read and read.
So, all and in all, I think I passed LIFE 101—if not with flying colors, at least with a B-plus.
“LIFE 101–Everything We Wish We Had Learned about Life in School–But Didn’t” is an interesting book I’ve been reading.
In the introduction, author Peter McWilliams said, “That our educational system is not designed to teach us the ‘secrets of life’ is no secret. In school, we learn how to do everything–except how to live.
“We know what direction migrating birds fly in autumn, but we’re not sure which way we want to go. We have dissected a frog, but perhaps have never explored the dynamics of human relationships.”
In other words, the most important things in life aren’t learned from books.
As a result, after we march down the aisle with a rented cap and gown, it’s up to us to continue our education.
McWilliams has a few suggestions:
1). Be joyful.
There is no end to joy, he said. “Don’t just increase joy by a little. Double it. Then, double that.”
2). Laugh out loud–often.
Laughter is good for both your health and your happiness. So laugh at every opportunity!
3). Don’t confuse money with wealth.
Wealth is health, happiness, abundance, and knowing what we want. Wealthy people carry their riches within, not in their bank accounts.
4). And always be consciously grateful for the good things in your life.
“Be thankful for little things, big things, every thing.”
Even if you graduated a half-century ago, every day is another educational opportunity in LIFE 101. What lesson will you practice today?
Marie Snider is an award-winning health care writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@aol.com or visit www.visit-snider.com

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