We Don't Need No Education

Wednesday October 16, 2019

I was returning some clothes in the store, and the clerk was having some difficulty processing my repayment. The loyalty points needed to be deducted from one card and the money returned to my credit card. Except the loyalty card is also a finance card and the system automatically refunded the money to that card. The clerk tried again, and the same thing happened. She called her colleague. The colleague didn't know and called the manager. The manager couldn't make it work and phoned the IT department. I helpfully (as I thought) commented that I really didn't mind keeping the extra points, but apparently that was Not Allowed. Meanwhile, the people in the queue behind me made restive movements and muttered.

Well, we all needed to get quite creative and it was a bit convoluted, but a way was finally found, and I have fewer points on my loyalty card, but more money in my bank account. The clerk gave me a relieved look. "At least I know what to do when it happens again," she said. "Every day's a school day."

Yes, every day's a school day. For my two teenage daughters, every day is quite literally a school day. My elder daughter has just this moment rushed in, thrilled: she has finally found the university and degree course she wants to do! She is excited by learning and I am happy for her, even if I think Scotland is a very long way from home!

We should all be life-long learners. I'm a great fan of personal development and business books; I learn a lot from them. A friend of mine, in her late eighties, is starting a series of online education courses; she has a lust for learning. Learning keeps our brains sharp and our minds elastic.

It's easy to stultify. If we think we have learned all there is about life, even about a certain area of life, we run the risk of losing out – or worse, being proven wrong!

A client came to see me today with one of those "problem" garments. She just couldn't find a way to make it work. For a while I couldn't see what was wrong. Something was, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. I got out my pins and pinned it up and down, in and out. Finally, I saw it: "It's the pockets: they ruin the whole line! Those pockets there will always be wrong for you." I looked at her sorrowfully. "I'm afraid you've just paid for an expensive lesson." (I didn't tell her I'd just had the same lesson free!)

And that's another way to look at painful experiences or the mistakes we make. No matter how costly, in terms of money or emotional pain, we have paid for a lesson.

Pink Floyd got it wrong, we all need to learn; we should never stop learning.

Life is an education; let's not waste the lessons.

A Moodscope member.

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