From as early as I can recall, I have always possessed a natural thirst for knowledge. And with this thirst came an inevitable love of learning. As a child I always felt a strong inclination for school and an eagerness for discovering new things. A reserved girl, I would often hide behind the curtains of my bedroom’s small window to read for hours. I would turn deaf to my parents’ calls and would emerge, hours later, my eyes tired from the extensive reading, my mind already thinking of returning to my novels. On weekends, I would only think of going back to school; on breaks, I would impatiently cross out each day until it started. As time went by, I tried to satisfy this thirst not only by devouring my school work but also by absorbing new cultures and languages through studies abroad in Spain, travels to Mexico, and stays in various European countries.
Now, as I’ve started learning my fourth language, I realize that, while my thirst has not yet been quenched, a new desire for sharing what I have learned has grown. Whenever I hear someone bring up a concept I have studied, I eagerly transmit what I know. For instance, one day at the dinner table, my parents and their friends were wondering why starving children had big bellies. I immediately explained that the children, being subject to a dearth of proteins present an œdema. A sudden sense of satisfaction overcame me as I realized I had been able to fulfill others’ longing to learn. While I still take pleasure in learning, I feel that contentment is not fully reached until I have been able to share what I have assimilated with others. I no longer keep to the privacy of my books and hiding place but try to share my window with others, however restricted the space may be. It is my belief that I should try to communicate my love for learning as well as share what knowledge I have acquired with others.
I do feel the need to carry out this belief as well as find a certain sense of accomplishment in doing so. I tutor kids, doing a seemingly insignificant action such as helping with homework. I always feel a deep fulfillment that I have not yet experienced otherwise after successfully explaining a math theorem or English assignment and seeing a smile of relief and comprehension on a child’s face.
I also try to incite my friends to take up more than one language or to travel if they can. I am aware that others do not have the same convenience in travel as I do, as someone who travels back to Europe every year with my expatriate family, so I try to give opportunities to my friends by inviting them to join me in France over the summer.
It is my firm belief that I should share whatever I know, for to me, knowledge or experience does not bring any happiness nor carry any significance if it is not shared.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.