Discipline to Success:
The Education Attribute
Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men as the living are to the dead.
We reviewed last week the attributes that makeup our education character. These traits include the following. Let’s review each:
Being a Good Listener
“Hello . . . Hello . . . Hello . . . did you hear me?”
Becoming a better listener can increase your education. Why? Because listening opens our minds to opinions and advice from others. You can learn more about yourself by listening to others and their experiences. Becoming better listeners can also improve friendships, marriages, families and careers.
Good listeners increase their education and knowledge base by listening to people who have practical experience and wisdom. Listening expands our knowledge in unfamiliar subjects and events that can make our lives less complicated. Parents are excellent role models with practical experience. They can teach us about careers, education, child-rearing and caring for families. Teachers, friends, intellects and peers are all excellent advisers who can expand our knowledge if we take the time to listen. Even our children can offer advice on music, trends and new technological advances.
You can develop good listening skills by making it a habit to listen. Put aside your own dominating tendencies and allow others to express their feelings and opinions. Be patient. Spend some time to ask questions. Invite experts to share their knowledge. And probe the emotional feelings of the person who is speaking. They may be crying for help and you can be in the position to lend your advice by just listening. It might be helpful to think yourself as a counselor. Good counselors listen first to people’s ideas or problems before drawing any conclusion.
Being a Good Reader
Let’s take a test:
- Name the economic powers that make up the Group of Seven. Show their respective geographic locations on a world map.
- Summarize the environmental impact of acid rain. List solutions that you would recommend to resolve the problem without adversely impacting the economy.
- Explain the gravitational properties of a black hole.
- Recite the major political events that lead to World War I.
- Name the tennis tournaments that makeup the Grand Slam.
- Identify the three longest rivers in the world. Name the countries that these rivers flow through.
You might be asking how these six questions measure your reading abilities. They don’t. Even I couldn’t answer all of the questions without some research. I use the questions to illustrate a concept. If you had to answer each question, say to win the grand prize, could you make an attempt based on your current reading abilities?
Each question relates to a particular subject matter. The first question relates to economic issues; the second question relates to the environment; the third, to science; and so forth to the last question, which relates to geography. Does your reading cover each of these subject materials and more? Do you expose your mind to varied subject materials? How would evaluate your exposure to the following subject materials:
- Chemical Science
- Biological Science
- Social and Public Policy
- Human Science
- Music, Drama, Dance
- Entertainment and Sports
- Economic Policy
- Geographical Science
- Computer Science
- Environmental Science
You can’t expect to become an expert in all of these subjects. But an educated, well-informed person learns much about these subjects by broadening his or her reading spectrum. An educated person loves to read about many different subjects by visiting libraries, subscribing to different periodicals and conducting personal research.
There are a number of ways to develop good reading habits. You should spend more time reading materials that interest you. You should try to read materials that will expand your knowledge base. Suggested readings include big-city newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. These papers can be easily delivered to your home and can expose you to current affairs and varied subjects of interest. Other reading materials includes periodicals in public policy, foreign affairs, economics, history, people, art, geography, etc. You might also consider subscribing to on-line services with your PC. These internet services offer a variety of educational sources at substantially less cost than many periodical subscription fees.
But what if you don’t like history, for example? Why waste your time reading history books if the subject material bores you? Let me make a suggestion. If you dislike history or any other particular subject material, try selecting a literary work that interests you — such as a novel — that is written in period of history. For example, if you like romances, pick a novel that is written about an early period. Or if you like mysteries, read a mystery novel set in Nazi Germany. Note passages in your book that tie to some historical fact. You might have an encyclopedia handy to research historical information that you find in your book. Reading “between the lines” and researching facts about a subject will increase your interest in history, geography, science, etc.
Reading is like everything else: practice makes perfect. Good reading habits require that you read . . . read . . . read. Schedule time to read in the morning, before bed, during lunch, etc. Try to read varying subjects that will expand your knowledge base. The more varied subjects that you read, the greater your exposure to the world around you.
Next week: we will continue our discussion of education attributes.
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