What's the purpose of learning?
"The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
One cannot help but be in awe
when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life,
of the marvelous structure of reality." - A. Einstein
What's the purpose of learning?, - the one may wonder. I would as then: "What's the purpose of life?"
Some may say that life has no purpose. Just live. Breathe. Grow plants. And she will be right!
Some may say that life's purpose is to love; to give; to take; to share; to teach; to have fun; to make money; to laugh.. As many people are on the planet, as many ideas you can have for the purpose of life.
What is learning? It is defined as acquisition of knowledge and the capacity to recall it. The wise person (or smart person) would take that knowledge and apply for his and other people benefit. If you learn something for yourself it is called "mental masturbation". It's important to remember:
"Happiness is only real when shared" - Christopher McCandless
so it's good to share what you learn, I believe.
Why am I asking such philosophical questions after the midnight? It's 3:19 am to be precise in Hong Kong. I don't know. But I think it's important to ask and at least to define for myself.
I think we are born to create. To build, develop, grow. And whatever we learn, the content we learn, shall support that function. But how the one decides on what to create? It shall come from the curiosity. What ignites the curiosity? It's the interest. The experience of interactions in the world and with the world.
Many people tend to "hate" work. They said: TGIF (thanks God it's Friday). And I feel sorry for them. Because what is work? It is activity with the purpose. But if you say TGIF because you can work on something else during weekend, something that you truly passionate about, something (or someone you love) - then I truly stand by you and applaud.
To ask "Is there a point to learn for the sake of learning?" would be same as to ask "Is there a point to eat for the sake of eating?" or "Is there a point to fish for the sake of fishing?" or "to paint for the sake of painting?". My answer would be Yes, if that's how you see your role in the community. That can be meaning of life too. But not for me.
It would make sense to me to learn something that I can use to create. Because when I create, I engage with other people, and I can grow.
To me, the purpose of learning is to find the truth. What is real? To understand the reality. The reality can be so different. But science can help us uncover and discover it.
I found these elaborations of the purpose of learning and liked it:
Learning looks like joy. It looks like discovery. It looks like creativity and problem-solving, collaboration and failure and revision and reflection. I came to see that for me, one purpose of learning, in all of its joy and magic, is connection. We learn so that we can connect with one another’s humanity and with one another’s ideas. We learn so that we can grow together and become smarter as a collective. We learn so we can make the world smaller. - Sydney Chaffee
... the purpose of learning is empowerment. It's to gain real skills that directly apply to the world outside.And what is the purpose of learning for you?