Monday, 24 December 2012

Responsible Single: Keep Learning

One of the things I have greatly enjoyed in my single years is learning after I completed my secondary education.  I have decided not to pursue a formal post-secondary education, largely due to financial reasons, but I have greatly enjoyed learning at home.

When I say keep learning, that can mean several things, and depending on your personality, it could mean something totally different than what it means to me.  For me, it has meant studying literature and working on my writing.  This past year, I became involved with IJM and read several books on justice issues.  I've also started learning more about abortion and the pro-life view.  I consider that a part of my learning.  I'm growing my knowledge and understanding of issues I didn't know as much about before.  For many learning may mean a formal education at a university.  For others it could mean learning a new skill, developing a talent, learning a new computer program, practicing a household skill, or learning how to make something creative whether it's with needles and tread or yarn or wood, or whatever you use.  For some, it may be researching a topic that interests you or even just taking more time to study God's Word.

Unfortunately, my job right now doesn't allow me to do as much learning as I want to.  But when time allows, I have lots of unread books on my shelf, some of which I want to study, I want to work on my writing skills, and perhaps one day I will further study such things as philosophy, political science, justice, or other social issues.  Writing this post is exciting and frustrating for me because it reminds me of everything I want to do and I miss working part time and having the time to do them.

For those of you who have want to pursue post-secondary education but can't afford it, or it doesn't seem to be a reasonable choice, I want to share some things I have found that can be very helpful.  One of the reasons I haven't pursued university is because most of what I would study there I can learn at home at a fraction of the price.  I just miss the opportunity for discussion, having my work graded and getting the credits.  If I want to study literature and writing, I can walk into Chapters or go onto and buy my education for a fraction of the price of an institution.  But there are also an abundance of free online resources that I began discovering last year.

If you have iTunes on your computer, you can go to the iTunes store and under the menu there's a cool feature called iTunes U.  iTunes U is a great collection of university lectures covering a wide range of subjects, a lot in video and most of it's free.  You can also search for this on some university websites.

Something else I got really excited about this year was when Biola University, a Christian university in California, added a whole section of free content open to the public called Open Biola.  There is so much there I'd want to watch and learn that I could spend months there.  It's awesome that Christian universities are giving back in this way.  We live in a time where so much is available at our fingertips. You don't have to go to a university or even a library anymore. Use it wisely and make the most of it.

It doesn't matter so much what you're learning about, but that you're thinking.  Don't neglect to exercise your mind.  Having said that, use discretion.  Learn about things that will build you up and allow you to build up others.  Spend your time on things that matter and are profitable.  Filter what you're learning through the Word of God so you're not being deceived or swept away with worldly, unbiblical views that sound good to our fallen human nature or wander into things that will cause you to sin.  Let Philippians 4:8 be your guide:

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think abut these things."

Next Post: Take a Risk

1 comment:

  1. I haven't had much time to read up on the blogs I like to keep up with for a while but I'm reading through some of your posts and I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE this one.

    I have long thought that we can have an almost free education every bit as good as any degree you can buy simply by reading and thinking.

    Thanks for sharing about iTunes U and Biola; when I get some free time I really want to check into that. Sounds fascinating!