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To be, to have, to think, to move — which of these verbs is the one you feel most connected to? Or is there another verb that characterizes you better?

“I think, therefore I am,” postulated Rene Descartes wisely. Knowing and using information I have learned, and trying new things are important to me. The most wonderful thing about education is that it gives you options, possibilities, and new horizons. Knowledge is gained to be used, to be absorbed by the mind, understood, and used to solve problems — or simply to enrich one’s life.

Kids often ask, “Why do I have to do algebra?” or “Why to I have to take history?” and there are good reasons to go through the process of learning these. Obviously babies learn things simply through experience, like “if I cry I’ll get attention”, or later, “dropping my sippy cup from my high chair means it’s gone”, or that “hot things burn me”, or “hitting my head hurts and makes me cry”. Each time something new is learned, the brain changes. It needs stimulation to grow, and it needs educating to develop more complicated pathways. If brains developed like pecs and abs, maybe teens would see more value in the learning process.

Every day we meet new challenges which may call for new solutions. The ability to think through problems, and use knowledge that we’ve learned, makes us better able to make good decisions. We won’t be perfect, but at least we will able to make the best choices based on what we know.

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