Sacrificing Old for New

“Wear the old coat, buy the new book.” – Austin Phelps

Austin was an American minister and educator from Massachusetts. He has written many theological text books (many of which still have printings) but may not be known outside of theology studies. As far as I can tell, his most widely known statement may be the one quoted above.

Lesson: I decided to choose this because I think that at face value, the statement is perfect. It tells you that you should forego newer nice-to-haves in order to pursue knowledge. However, I think it is a bit deeper than that. I have drawn the lesson that we should not give up on what we have which  will then enable us to pursue knowledge.

The difference may be subtle, but it stands up in my mind.


Know how to Learn

With today being “Read Across America Day in United States” which was chosen because it matches up with Dr. Seuss’ birthday, I think it is the best time to publish our first Dr. Seuss quote.

It is better to know how to learn than to know.

This quote by the great Theodore Geisel, or better known as Dr. Suess, has become a favorite of mine over the last few years. However, it is not until recently that I knew who said it. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find the context in which it was said or where/when the good Dr. Seuss may have said it.

It is better to know how to learn than to knowLessons: Take from this what you will, but in a world where knowledge is (literally) at our fingertips on smartphones, in search engines, sitting on your tablet, it is no longer necessary to be fully aware of all information, all of the time. I’m aware of the novelty of knowing facts in conversation, but when it comes time to actually move forward, the idea that you know how to learn something new will hold stronger throughout your life than everything you can learn early in life.

I have recently ‘re-dedicated’ myself to trying and learning new ideas, task, skills, etc. and have really taken Dr. Seuss’ words to heart. I am sure that I will quote the good Dr. again since he is both relatable to children and quite honestly a genius in his own right, but for now try to just take this one great quote to heart.

I know I am not alone in this thinking, and at risk of sounding like a drone I am going to point to something that Seth Godin has published called Stop Stealing Dreams, that is about our current educational system and why it is not necessary to memorize facts any more.