Are you one too?

Are you a life-long learner?
Do you love discovering new ideas and subjects?
Do you read lots of books and surf for information

I love that description, ‘life-long learner’…I
heard it for the first time not long ago.

I’d like to tell you a story.  It’s a true story,
but then all stories are true right! 
Actually this story is as true as I can make
it…and it’s VERY personal. 
You may have a story like it.

He was a young boy when he realized that school
was not for him.  It was a combination of a
rebellious nature and a gambling father.  He
wasn’t so keen on school and his father kept
losing the family’s wealth. 

It was clear that by the age of 15 he needed to
go out and start to make a living.  That was quite
the norm in those days.

He worked hard and did well in pretty much
everything he turned his hand to.  He worked in a
garage fixing cars and fantasized about his racing
at weekends.  He ran a printing press and a
restaurant.  He worked hard and played hard. 

When his temperamental chef walked out on him, a
frequent event, he would roll up his sleeves and
start to cook.  He worked as a salesman. 

And finally he took over the family business
which he ran successfully for years.

He never spent a day in university or college but
he was a life-long learner.

He was not an avid reader, though he did read
some favorites, but he loved discussing all kinds
of ideas; politics, religion, philosophy.  He had
inspiring ideas about love and relationships.  He
was a life-long learner and a teacher.

He is my hero. 
He is my father. 
And today marks 15 years since his very untimely

He really was a hero.  When he was a young man
and home recovering from chicken-pox; some robbers
broke into the family home.  Dad jumped out of his
sick bed and started to chase them. 
What was really rare about this event, especially
in Ireland in the 1940’s was that they had a gun.
And they shot him.
His luck was that the shooter was a bad shot.
The bullet grazed the top of his head.

And they ran away. I guess that was my luck too!

My luck was also to grow up believing that
learning holds treasures beyond imagination and
that as we live we learn.  That books have the
highest of value and the ideas in them, hold the
secrets of life. 

My luck was that I grew up on fascinating,
stimulating and challenging conversations around
the dinner table and supported by the people who
helped me believe that I could become whatever I

Above all, my luck was that Dad knew that
life-long learning is life-long loving.
That love is where it’s at.

Thank- you Dad.

Are you a life-long learner?
Who inspired you?  Who’s your hero?
Please share your story here.

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5 comments on “Are you one too?

  1. Dear Lisa,
    Many thanks for your stories, you are able to pick up just one word and tell something really meaningful. I appreciate.
    I feel I am a long life learner too.

    I used to read a lot when I was teenager and I think I built myself around all these characters, taking one bit of each as a puzzle piece to complete my personality. I have a bit from Anne Franck, which is the first book that really struck me literally, I have bits from other great French writers characters but also from English literature I came to later when I was able to read it fluently.

    I carry on taking bits here and there and now you have asked the question I think this is “the writer” as a person who inspired me, These people are my heroes more than any other artists in Music or film. Words and writers.
    All the best
    kind regards
    Anne-Laure, a French stories passionate.

    • Thank you Anne-Laure, as an early lover of literature too I really get this! Best wishes, Lisa

  2. I was sitting with a pain inside me and got Lisa’s story. Today is also the day my father died and left us alone in this world at age 46.
    My pain was there since that moment. I am thinking and getting surprised that I have spent only 20 years with him and 28 years without him. Still he is my dear, me hero, my miss.

    You have inspired me to be my best in this world ,my dear dad.

  3. Dear Lisa,
    Similarly, my father of blessed memory, was a lifelong learner until he got the terrible disease of Alzeimer’s at an untimely age…
    But, as one of 7 children, we all have college degrees except one who is an ordained rabbi – although my father never attended college. My mother had one year to finish college, but got married one year before finishing. After 5 kids (my older siblings) were all school age, she signed up to become a nurse, but she got pregnant with me, so dropped that idea – as women didn’t work and have babies in those days…
    My father loved learning. He would be doing the dishes while I went over my studies for homework or a test. I got so used to studying like that, I wondered how I will ever do my master’s degree without him.
    As a new teacher, I would try to stop off at my Mom’s house after work to discuss how my day went. She would always have an insightful comment which always maintained that it wasn’t my fault – but the naughty children’s or the totally non PC “backward” pupils’ who are being forced to learn material that is just plain too hard for them. Before a choir concert or acting performance, I would give my Mom a whole show. Now after work I am still saddened to pass my late mother’s place. She passed away at 93 – way too young. Her memorial was this Jan.5th – also my parents wedding anniversary. She read her newspapers and Bible til the end. She made sure to have a daily walk with her caretaker. She tried to attend all the family occasions. But, when you’re called to your Maker – all systems go.
    Now I’m thinking about finishing my thesis and doing a doctorate, but I’m nearing retirement age. But so what…
    Have a nice weekend!

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