I am pleased that learning is a lifelong process. It brings interest to our lives, it enables us to improve and change what we do and how we live. A system that offers to sell you everything you could possible need doesn't exactly support the idea of learning, nevertheless, if you step back from a purely materialistic approach to living, learning is what you'll be doing. None of us is born knowing everything we need to know. Being prepared to skill ourselves to do what we need to do in our chosen way of life is an attitude that is developed as we mature.
Here are two crazy youngsters at the very start of their own journey. I think this was taken in 1976. (This long lost photo ripped as I removed it from its old frame.)
It's better than it used to be, but even ten years ago, it was much more difficult to find creditable information about many of the "from scratch" tasks we all commonly carry out in our daily lives. It was accepted then that housework was done by women who "stayed at home" using appliances that made it all just as easy as could be. Then and now, there were chemicals to spray and wipe, poisons to rid homes of insects and mice, super phosphates to fertilise vegetables and many many shops where you could buy anything from a bottle of water to anything your heart desired. (I wonder what our great grandparents would say to us about buying water to drink.) Times have changed; there is an alternative now. Now there is a more realistic understanding that we all do some form of house work, that home is our haven, that it's a much safer and sustainable option to reduce the number of chemical products we use in the home, we understand the concepts of seasonal and local produce, developing community, solar and wind power, self reliance, recycling and the wise economy of restraint. We are still tough on women who "stay at home" but I'm hopeful that too will change. Soon.
All of these concepts require something of us. They require that we think about what we hope to do in our lives and then learn what we need to deliver those hopes and dreams. If anyone should ask me what is the major difference in my life now compared to before, I'd have to say mindful learning. First there is learning how to do all the small step tasks that we now take for granted, then we learn how they all fit together. Hopefully the fitting together closes some systems so they sustain themselves, require no new inputs, yet still deliver year after year. When we have all that in play, we improve what we do and how we do it - we become experts in our own homes. And that requires more learning so we keep improving. If you're lucky, you'll never lose the will to learn and it will be a lifelong activity.
Remember though that learning is not done in isolation. Often when you learn, you teach at the same time. Being a role model for your children, encouraging them to spend time with you while you cook, sew, knit, mend, plant, harvest, construct, clean, create and nurture will show them how to do it too. It may not give them the ins and outs of each tasks, but it will give them the attitude to learn. And that, my friends, is one of the greatest gifts.