The Joy of Learning and Chewing Chappies

Today I bought a Kit Kat bar at the café across the road from College SA’s offices. I gave my money, got my Kit Kat, and took my R2 change. And then I decided to do something that I haven’t done since primary school: I bought a whole handful of Chappies.

As I sit down now behind my desk and shove the first little colourful square into my mouth, I can’t help but think back to those good old school days. I remember sitting down and eating Chappies with my friends (with a whole pocketful still to go) and swapping ‘Did you know?’ facts with them. Those ‘Did you know?’ facts were (and still are) written on the inside of each Chappie wrapper.

Did you know? Hurricanes start to take shape when the sea surface temperature is at least 27 degrees Celsius”

“Did you know? The Southeast Asia is the oldest rainforest in the world. It has been around for over 70 million years.”

Did you know? Deserts cover a third of the world’s surface”

(Obviously I had an environment-themed Chappie here).

Reading my Chappie facts (while chewing away), I can’t help but experience that same pleasure I felt back then. The pleasure of discovering another little fact and thinking, “No, I didn’t know that. But I do now!” I realise now that part of the joy I experienced when I was younger, was due to the pleasure one gets from learning and knowing new things.

Did you know? Human beings experience actual pleasure from learning.”

Jordan Litman, a professor at the University of South Florida,even published a paper on it, stating that the satisfaction we feel when learning something new is experienced in the same parts of the brain that experience satisfaction when we appease our appetites. We literally get hungry for knowledge, and experience pleasure when we appease that knowledge-hunger.

This makes me wonder about why we choose to study. Why do you study? To get a job one day? To improve yourself? To receive a diploma or certificate? These are all good reasons, I guess. But I think we all too often forget about the joys of learning when we study. We get so caught up in the piece of paper that a course promises (the certificate or diploma or degree) that we completely forget to enjoy the process of learning.

“Curiosity is a gift, a capacity of pleasure in knowing,” wrote John Rushkin. We are curious beings and we get pleasure from satisfying our curiosity. And what’s more: learning is the cornerstone of self-advancement, self-improvement, and personal (and professional) growth. And this is the focus of many of our provider programmes.

At College SA, we offer provider programmes to give you the knowledge that you want and need, without requiring you to spend a fortune on your education. Remember: knowledge is power; a diploma is just a piece of paper. It’s not the Chappie wrapper, but the facts written on it, that really matter.
You should study for the knowledge, and the pleasure of knowing, rather than just for the piece of paper you’ll get at the end, because:

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest

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The value of high numbers

I have great respect for communities and societies who value older generations. I wish that we could all value and respect other people’s life experience and wisdom.

As a society, I think that we should embrace getting older, for every wrinkle tells a story. There have been some fantastic role models who became more influential with age, and whose stories became that much more powerful as they got older. Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Mother Theresa – the list goes on and on.

How can we not learn from these great teachers? How can we not embrace the beauty of age and wisdom?

If I could change society, I would start by placing more emphasis, value and importance on older generations. We can learn incredible things from them.

Have you ever sat down with a grandparent, parent or older family member and listened to their life story? They can take us to places we have never been before. They can take us on journeys of pain, love, triumph and glory.

Too often, we fail to acknowledge just how much we can learn from the older generations.

When I opened my ears and started listening to my own family’s stories, I was really amazed at what I found out. Their life stories are absolutely incredible. I am proud of their accomplishments, and proud to be a member of my family.

The next time you see an elderly person in the shop, driving annoyingly slowly in front of you, or struggling to walk up a flight of stairs, don’t just get irritated – stop to smile at them, help them, and acknowledge that they are somebody special.

For all you know, they may just be the founder of a big franchise store, or someone who defended one of your family members in a fight or argument of some sort. They may have made a powerful contribution to the world. They are someone’s mother or father, brother or sister, and more than likely the greatest love of someone’s life. Let us love the older generations. They have given us so much.

And in order for us to ensure that we are great examples for future generations, just as the older generations are for us, we should embrace every opportunity to increase our knowledge. One way of doing this is by taking distance learning courses in our spare time.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
― Mahatma Gandhi