Monday, January 24, 2005

Maxim # 11: ஓதுவ தொழியேல் -- Never cease to learn.

ஆத்திச்சூடி # 11: துவ தொழியேல்(O-dhu-va-thu O-zhi-yAle)

Translation: Never cease to learn.

Rumination: The term "ஓதுவது" refers to "learning" and "ஒழியேல்" to "never cease." So, this maxim exhorts one to keep learning always. Many scholars have translated "ஓதுவது" as reading. However, I interpret that word to connote learning in general of which reading is only a part. President Abraham Lincoln once said, "I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday." By this, even he exhorted the fact that learning must be continuous, not even continual. Learning is not confined to reading and listening alone. The very tragedies, travails, and experiences one undergoes in life, have profound educational value. Every person, thing, language, culture or place we run into is our guru that teaches us something that we never knew before. Socrates' exhortation of "an unexamined life is not worth living," enables us to appreciate the power of learning by asking questions. Many think that they are simpletons, if they were to ask questions. Rather, Socratesian wisdom has proven to us the value of learning by asking questions. If we want to learn, the whole world is there as our laboratory for exploration and experimentation. All we need is that encouragement and inquisitiveness of a toddler.


  • Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. -- Henry Ford.
  • Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, and many opinions. For opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making. -- John Milton.

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