Hard work can come in many forms. One form which requires you to both work hard and have faith is education. I am not talking about the education “system” – that would be politics and I strive not to discuss politics – I am talking about your own self-education, outside of any establishment created for education of the masses. I normally refer to this as “doing research” on a specific subject, but for every bout of research done, your education is furthered, albeit without any public recognition. Recognition is not a requirement for someone desiring anonymity.
You must work hard when researching any subject, to remain focused on why you want to learn about that particular subject. What is it that compels you to learn? Be sure you know the answer before delving deeply into any research, for without a goal for the use of the knowledge you are about to receive, it will soon be forgotten. Once you are sure of what purpose knowing the answer to your question will serve, you can begin in earnest. Start with the free and shallow streams of research; the library and the internet (which I assume you have access to if you are reading this). These resources are only introductions to your topic, and you will be using them only to gain a base of knowledge which is broad and unspecific. Use the knowledge you gain here to propel you towards textbooks, trade publications, and other printed materials which you can purchase, to be read and reread to cement the lesson that you initially needed to learn. I did say purchase, yes. You must be able to refer back to this book at any time. A question may arise that you vaguely recall reading about previously, but without owning the book, you cannot reread the relevant section at will. One key technique to retain knowledge is to reread a book periodically until you can vividly recollect the page on which an answer is given to a question which comes up in the field. Your initial library and internet research will help point you toward the books which are worthy of purchase.
During your research, you must have faith in your ability to absorb pertinent information and forget that data which is either useless or irrelevant to your current problem. The ability to forget irrelevant facts is just as important as the ability to remember relevant ones. Your thoughts must not get clogged with unusable memories. You must also have faith that you will be able to tell the difference between fact, fiction, and the middle ground of anecdotal “evidence”. When you read something that really resonates strongly with your own common sense, read it again, purposefully etching this tidbit into your memory. Trust your feelings on whether or not you agree with an author’s argument. If you don’t, move on to a new author; you must believe in the answers you find, if you doubt them, they are the wrong answers for you. You can find “incontrovertible proof” on both sides of the same argument if you look for it; in the end you must choose what you believe.
In this way, through hard work and faith, you can learn anything – and it is of the utmost importance to always be learning something.
4 responses to “An Agrarian’s Education”
I’m loving your posts. Great stuff!
Thank you for the wonderful compliment. The feeling is mutual though, I cannot steer away from your page until I have read the last word. No amount of research can substitute for personal experience, and that shows through in the writing.
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Thanks! I’m trying to keep the blog personal, seems like people enjoy it more that way!
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