This I Believe

Rachel - Ann Arbor, Michigan
Entered on March 18, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50


Never stop learning.

My mother chanted this mantra to me. This is the belief that infuses my soul and the belief of my people. To learn to find something new each day is what connects my spine. It’s the sponge in between each of my vertebrae.

My mother was born in an era when women went to college to get their M-R-S. It was while I was growing up she went back to school. She received her bachelor’s degree, masters and finally the grand prize, her Ph.d.

It was my only natural path to I return to college after I ended 21 years of marriage and work towards my second bachelor’s degree. Never would I dare allow my life to be at a standstill. I had to learn something new to keep moving, to sustain life, whatever that life would look like. I would meet each of my new accomplishments with the same pride and glee my mother did.

In August this year, I’ll have my coveted degree, having learned an entirely new area during these past few years. The learning will not end after I receive my diploma; I have plans to take a cooking class. The kind where they teach you to make fancy desserts with the frosting that looks like it should top a princess’ cake. There’s the language class I want to enroll in and there’s the Rabbi’s lunch and learn series I am looking forward to. My learning hasn’t always taken place in a classroom. I was studio manager of a advertising and commercial photography studio for 20 years. I learned on the job. Learning is not a perfect science, and it’s not mistake-proof. It’s about good timing, refining a sense of humor, lots of decisions and common sense.

Never stop learning; I chant this song of life to my sons. I’ve added my own spin onto this mantra. I make sure my children know to infuse passion into their lives in addition to learning. The two go together like peanut butter and jelly. Passion in learning, learning about passion, it makes a fine sandwich.