This I Believe

Matt - Centennial, Colorado
Entered on September 17, 2006
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that we are all learners. We are all learning something each and every day. As humans, we evolve by learning, and by learning we evolve.

I believe that we need to take learning into our own hands. We should not need to be fed information and absorb it like a sponge. We should not just take in information, but also give out new information; be consumers and producers at the same time.

As part of the human race, we were meant to discover on our own without direction. By taking what is already known, we can discover something new. Isn’t that how evolution works? If we did not take what we knew and applied it to learn something, then we would still be monkeys.

Then there is the one place in which we go to learn, school. Mark Twain said something to the effect of, “I never let school get in the way of my learning.” Another great quote that I once heard is “Not for school, but life we learn.” It seems that the focus today is to achieve your potential by getting high grades. To me achieving my potential means learning as much as I can.

Nowadays, the main goal is to get an A on that project, to ace that test, and to make honor roll. That’s all great, but what do grades truly reflect? Are grades an accurate measure of our learning? To me the answer is no. Grades reflect that one has good study skills, knows how to take tests, and does their homework. It’s as simple as that. If you can do this, then you will get the A; there’s no learning involved! That is what school has become. It has nothing to do with learning anymore! I hear, “who cares about what I learned this year. I got straight A’s, and now I am out of here. Well I do care. It makes no difference to me whether I got an A or not in a class, what matters to me is that I can come out of the class knowing more than I did before.

I believe that we are all learners, even the wisest of us. I believe that far too many students take a false pride in having good grades. I believe that if we all concentrate on learning, and taking pride in that we know something that we didn’t before, we can all better ourselves.