Why do you learn when you’re not being provoked to

learn without being provoked

About 5months ago, I finally summoned the courage to take swimming classes. Job hasn’t come yet, I’m having a lot of free time on my hands and I still got some little change to spare. Though the classes cost more than ‘little change’ that I even had to split the payment in half, I thought it was necessary that I learn, and I fancied myself an overkill by going for professional training. There was no pressure to learn, neither was there any particular inspiration from any angle. I’ve just always loved the idea of swimming, and movies make it so much fun……..

Now to what brought about this. I found out most people need to be ooohed or aaahed into pursuing an interest.
(A friend, after scrolling through swimsuit pics and currently settled on videos I made while learning)
‘Oooh you now swim!’
‘I’m still learning o. Hehe’
‘Ahhh like this!… learning ke.. (she paused the video while urging me to watch what she’d seen,  incase i did not realise it was me in the video swimming)… I want to learn too o. When do you go so I can come along’

Because swimming is perceived as a fun activity, and if friend A can do it, you too can. Right? People also need to be presented with an incentive or a defined objective before an oohed-aaahed activity can be pushed further into a necessary-skill-to-possess.

‘Err… come with your money to pay’
‘Oh…(and here comes the change in vibe)…You’re paying for it? Is there a competition…?’
‘Well, no…’
‘Then why are you learning “learning”?'(notice the double-word emphasis)
‘I should not learn to swim? Bia, you, why do you want to learn?’
‘..err I’m just saying..  It’s not like you will use it  for anything in particular, hian, this one that you’re paying sef…’
blank look

We need to have to come across a $2,000 award benefit for a cyclist winner before we decide to learn to ride a bicycle, if not, what are you learning to ride a bicycle for. An idea or interest conceived in the mind is not enough to brew the body into action, there has got to be a reason to plunge into an activity or service even if you can (easily) afford it, time-wise or money-wise. And if you have to put time and/or money into it, it should at least be something you’re passionate about.

learn without being provoked

This kind of mindset needs to be done away with because it keeps our brain poor. People make faces at those that find hobbies just for their personal satisfaction and amusement. There are those others that find it absurd to learn what they were not “born” with, as they’d put it. Like, if you don’t have the “gift” of singing or dancing, organizing, managing, you shouldn’t try to force nature by learning them.

We’re slowly progressing a world were attaining a number of skills won’t be a feel-like-to-have, but a must-have, for convenience or flexibility’s sake. Some countries are there already with the majority of the middle-class population executing common tasks by themselves and not having to outsource them.

Granted, some skills are dispensable and you could live a life time not being aware of them and it wouldn’t matter -my ex-boss knows how to survive in a desert if he ever gets unfortunate to be there. (This is not to throw shades at the survival skill. He knows a lot that I wonder how he keeps tab and remembers each of them when they’re needed)- but learning(when you can afford to), for that one time it might be needed can save a lot of hassle in the future.

learn without being provoked

A friend of mine thinks this is not a fair way to live, as this puts some people in the service business out of jobs, because not everybody is cut out for traditional professions like medicine or law. How I heard it, it came off like saying we shouldn’t permit cars because then horses wouldn’t have a reason for existence or we shouldn’t support speedboats because the canoe riders would go hungry. So now we shouldn’t make those pancakes or bake meals so the chefs don’t lose their mainstay occupation? Or learn to change tires and see to the car engine, so the mechanics can keep making way?

I don’t think anyone that learns to mend/make dresses themselves, or properly cut their hair/beards with a clipper does so because they feel it’s about time they put others out of their means of livelihood. The world is really just moving forward.

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    1. This question makes me giggle when asked. I can. Just breast stroke only, but i kill it! and amateur freestyle. I can only progress to butterfly and the rest when I overkill it, so they say

  1. the quest to learn something about everything and everything about something is the proper conceptualization of the term “education” and if it means putting people out of business then so be out………….nice one beauty

  2. lmao @ all these internet revolutionaries,
    There are no rules or boundaries to what we can/should explore. Embrace your many passions and interest if u are a multi-potentialite. The world is chaotic , i let my dreams rescue me.

    *pun intended*
    i’m currently learning how to remotely fly a drone (online of course). lol, think of all the pilots i wud be putting out of jobs.

    1. Temma this post honestly does not apply to you. Lmao. When I met you in school the very first time years ago, you were an undergraduate teaching C++(I think, it was far from your course) and learning Spanish with a very fat guide book! 😂

  3. Lol at your friend gesture about paying to learn a ‘learning’. Personally I don’t believe there is a limit to what you can learn to build your capacity and intellect except the ones you allow. People needs to understand the concept of personal value, its not necessary about what you can earn out of pursuing an interest or education but you become out of it – a batter version of yourself I think.
    I believe many people sense of curiosity has been dulled in several that makes them not hungry for information or pursue their interest even if you have to pay for it.

    It has been discovered some years back human only use about 1% of the brain capacity. I becomes uncomfortable anytime that I remember that maybe that’s why I’m a multi-pod.

    Thanks for sharing. Presently learning how to fix tricycle though and writing phone application programs 😀😀. Crazy me I know

      1. You just conjure up some codes with those symbols you know😀😀. Those codes are enough to crash a system☺☺

  4. People and their disbelief @one paying for just ‘learning’. I remember during my undergraduate years, i was learning french using a private tutor and preparing for the international exam. It so happened that my school exams were holding that same period. One day a friend of mine called aside with a very serious look on her face that she wanted to ask me something. I was like ‘Sure, go ahead’ And she said ‘Why are you learning French?’ I said ‘Because i like it’ And she shook her head saying ‘No, tell me the real reason ’cause i’ve been observing you; is there a particular job opportunity i don’t about? Are you planning to leave for France?’
    I wonder what she will say if she hears i’m for someone to teach me musical instruments: maybe ask if i want to join a band?????😂😂

    1. 😂or if you want to become a musician instead of your degree profession. Or If you prefer tours instead of classes. Or if you want to meet Beyonce and it will be easier being in a relatable field. 😂Or……. 😂

  5. I feel challenged😦… I can’t swim, not even the amateur freestyle.
    Not even in the baby pool… I think I should try this without thinking of drowning.

    1. All I can say is try it when you’re ready. Fear of drowning, I realized while learning, is pretty much a funny something. The instructor is usually present and the water is ‘very’ shallow. Lmao I mean, it’s only high up to your knees!

      1. Was that a children’s pool😨😨???
        I will surely try it some time soon or in the next life. Sometimes I feel like I have offended water in some of my writings.. the feeling is sickening.

        1. Haha was understating, but regardless, all pools have shallow ends. And by ‘shallow’, they don’t really get up to your shoulders.

          Unless you’re a really small adult😐and then it’s your deep end😑😔

  6. Spot on. It’s crazy how they make you seem odd.

    It’s always interesting and funny when they now want to learn said thing from you.

  7. I’m learning how to trade stocks, I’m an amateur tailor whenever the feeling strikes, I’m learning graphic design and business management. It has nothing to do with anyone else. It’s all about myself.
    I like that you’re learning how to swim though. I should as well. Question for you though, should I engage a tutor? Cos I really want to just jump in and get started.

    1. Trade stocks? Impressive. Tailor… graphics.. you’ve pretty much engaged yourself havent you? 😄
      From how far I’ve gotten, swimming that is..
      (1)I don’t think you can self-teach like other stuffs. Those you-tube How-To vids only work when you know but dont know too well (don’t mind that it will be called learners/beginner’s class).
      (2) Forget what they say again, you can’t learn to swim in 3days or less o. For real. You can “glide” but not “swim”. My trainer also confirmed that it hasn’t happened with him before. (But there are exceptions I know)
      (3) It doesn’t need much to learn. You know, for something that’s a constant routine. After those first 3awkward days of mastering arm/hand action.. breathcontrol.. gulping water.. endurance.. after all of those, whenever you walk by any pool, you might just lose all self control and forget you’re on a suit and you’re a respectable adult.. You might just jump in! Trust me😄😄

      1. Hehehe. I’m multi- interested. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
        Thanks for letting me know. I’ll get a swimsuit whenever I want to start and pay the coach to train me.
        I know! Although I’ve never learned, sometimes when i see an open swimming pool, I get close and dip my toes in. It always feels awesome.

        1. YASSS! I think we are a lot similar. I love to learn random stuffs too.
          Some years back.. I paid for Ankara bags.. beads/wireworks training. After those, I thought to learn more from DIY YouTube! Their designs are wayyyy prettier and less common than the ones here in naija. They make bracelets/rings too. We don’t. Barely. The bracelets are the to-go with the necklaces sort. I got so into the rings.. cute lovely things. After a while of cruising with those I moved on. I still haven’t seen anyone with beaded rings.. fancy ones. (Well.. just the plain to-go with bracelet to-go with necklace one if at all you’d see any)

          Last year beads/Ankara thingies blew up and I’m always like Damn! If only I’m still crazy about them.. would do it commercially. But nah… I just love making those myself. And you’ll mostly see me on my bags.

          1. Good for you!
            Do you remember the YouTube channel name specifically? And I like rings, but Ankara covered rings? I’d love to see those.

          2. hehe Ofcourse you would.

            No no… not Ankara rings jor. Beaded rings. They’re real pretty. Can’t picture how Ankara rings would turn out. Hey.. you could check.. it’s all about wrapping your rings/bracelets neatly with Ankara and glue. That’s how they “wrap” shoes too and diaries. I did one for my phone casing and it was lovely. I had to wrap some for friends too because they liked it. Since you sew and deal with materials upandan, lol, I bet you’ll like it too

            YouTube name specifically? No o. You could just type “how to make bead necklaces” and you’d see a lot of options. More suggestions would show you beaded bags and rings and all of those

  8. I like your mindset. Swimming in particular is a life saving skill that everyone should learn. “…a number of skills won’t be a feel-like-to-have, but a must-have, for convenience or flexibility sake.” Here swimming comes in as, maybe as should-have and for convenience and flexibility – cycling does it.

    Thanks for sharing

  9. Hi Oluchee,

    I enjoyed reading this, as always you mixed wit and depth brilliantly.

    Lol @ “…we shouldn’t permit cars because then horses wouldn’t have a reason for existence”

    You are correct, there is absolutely nothing wrong with acquiring soft skills, it’s a plus. I like the idea of gathering knowledge and skills that enrich one, who knows when they’ll come in handy. I have a nine to five but decided to learn to sew, it’s nice to have a plan B.

  10. I can’t even swim, I kinda keep on postponing it & end up feeling like it’s getting too late for me.

    1. Loool all I can say is grannies even take lessons (pls don’t ask me why, or if they’ll have energy to swim at their age. Lol). It’s never really late ({})

  11. I love this.
    I am currently learning photography, got the intrest last year and I have grown (according to close friends) I also learn to write more purposefully. I have always enjoyed writing but it wasn’t tuned correctly. Now I am getting better. I will just pit it nicely that I am learning to tell stories, visual (pictures) and with words. It’s difficult sometimes when some people don’t see why. They expect money to be involved everytime but cannot see the long term benefits . I once told a friend I will spend a large part of my income investing in cameras and kits and he was like, “so you want to become a photographer? ”
    I shrug because he doesn’t understand, some of us just love art for art sake and we do it without being paid . Although the inspiration of money sure will double the effort.
    The summary of my rant is learning shouldn’t always be about the reward, learning in itself is rewarding enough. So get better at the swimming thing, its super fun. Under the water is one place I feel more alive.

    1. Photography huh. Hmmm There was this time i signed up for the classes and the tutor started talking history and how he took pictures of Queen Elizabeth and Nnamdi Azikwe and he went on that sort of lane for about 40mins I lost interest. I did not go back to that class again. Sigh lol
      But this was soo long ago. Like 4yrs. I totally forgot I even… Hmm photography

      1. My learning is not formal. I wouldn’t want to learn the history of photography, what I am intrested in us style and technique. Don’t need something that wouldn’t add to the quality of my work. There might me people intrested in historical photography but certainly not me, I am just addicted to Black and White and capturing moments.

        1. Ofcourse no one is interested in history like that 😄😄
          Just like when some girl wants to learn to make-up, ofcourse she doesn’t really want to know about strength of brushes or intensity of strokes or whatever. She wants to learn to look exotic. Finish😂 Lmao

          Hmm my brother always says anything and everyone looks good on black and white. And I agree

  12. The 21st century illiterate isn’t one who can’t read and write but one who refuses to learn new things.. You’ve learnt something new and that’s wise👍👍👍👍

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