I have always had people in my life that have cheered me on and encouraged me to never stop learning. Sure, I heard people say it in public speaking, or a professor will plea with their students to never stop learning, but nothing compares to the inspiration I find in someone who embodies being a life-long learner. The first person who lived this out in my life is my father. We had plenty of great times of watching football on the weekend, or him attending my different activities, but there was something about his appetite to learn more that has stuck with me the most and inspired me to model the same to my children.
I recognize that my kids are learning all the time and I have to be aware of the lessons that I am teaching them. How I treat the neighbors, how I speak about work, how I speak to their mother, how I choose to relax, and whether I will make time in my schedule to learn.
My father has a passion for history and would remind my brother and I of that classic saying, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” The saying is good and I believe it to be an essential truth for the human story. However, sayings don’t inspire as much as watching people in our lives model what is most important.
So I hope that I am leading by example the need to learn history. This is in part why we visit presidential museums, national monuments, watch programs and I make sure that I am always trying to read at least one book about history a year. In order to inspire others you have to know your “what” and then you have to persevere in living it. My “what” for my kids are seek God, keep learning, and know that I love you. My prayer is that I am modeling this for them daily that they will be inspired to make these their “what” when they head out on their own.