Finding peace in learning

In our younger days, we are made to learn, rather coerced into learning several things, as part of school/college curriculum.

Bidding adieu to student life, as we step into life-defining careers, we find our interest to learn about new things (other than career-related learning) slowly waning. Post-retirement, many of us get so complacent that we display total disinclination to learning and assimilating new knowledge.

Apparently during that phase, we tend to vegetate, frittering away valuable time doing nothing significant.

And once the mind is idle, it gets engulfed and consumed by copious negative energy/emotions. Naturally, the distraught mind forms the breeding ground for bouts of brooding. So, we start mentally dredging up unsavoury past incidents.

Like recollecting the barbed comments against you by some colleague, with whom you would have worked decades back.

Or, the waspish words of a pugnacious neighbour with whom you argued as youngster. Or, the mordant remarks hurled at you by a grumpy relative, who is no more alive today.

Apparently, once we are in that brooding frame of mind, even trifle matters fluster us terribly. And, if we aren’t brooding over past instances, well, we would be then worrying about imaginary future problems/ailments, thus subjecting our mind to be razed down by a juggernaut of negative forces.

In this state, wherein the mind is in a welter of negative thoughts, even if we take refuge in spiritual activities, it can’t aid in allaying disturbed emotions. Hence, even when praying before portraits of God, the mind would be meandering in myriad directions.

Now, a way of keeping oneself active and thereby peaceful is by getting into learning mode - learning something nice and exciting. One may be an aficionado of good quality films/telly serials, or a zealot of spiritual lectures. But these things offer entertainment only for fleeting moments; whereas the ‘learning process’, besides making you feel young, proffers perpetual happiness.

Just as good hobbies keep you engaged, instilling zeal n’ zest for life, learning exhilarates you, imbuing you with new zing. And, there are no age restrictions to learn anything.

My elderly paternal cousin opted for voluntary retirement sometime back, to take care of his parents. In free hours, he kept himself busy learning multifarious things, to combat assaults of overpowering ennui.

With great alacrity, he strived to learn yoga techniques, to play the flute, to speak Sanskrit, to name a few. One always sees him bubbling with unfettered vim and verve, since this gusto for learning has made him physically and mentally active.

Indeed, learning interesting things could be an exulting and exhilarating experience to anyone, as it revivifies and reinvigorates one’s spirits, besides bestowing immense inner peace. So, when we have stretches of free hours, isn’t it a better bet to effectively utilise the time rather than wastefully kill it?

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