Eleanor Roosevelt nurtured an active, curious mind. She believed that “living and learning must go hand in hand,” and her philosophy played out in life and in print. She wrote about curiosity itself and about things that reflected her curiosity.
“This part of learning—learning as you go—gives life its salt. And this, too, comes back primarily to interest. You must be interested in anything that comes your way” (16).
This mindset is an asset for any person, especially a writer. Be interested in anything that comes your way. Pay attention. Ask questions. Dig deeper. Seek to understand.
Never, perhaps, have any of us needed as much as we do today to use all the curiosity we have, needed to seek new knowledge, needed to realize that no knowledge is terminal…. None of us can afford to stop learning or to check our curiosity about new things, or to lose our humility in the face of new situations. (16)
She urged people not to shy away from something that presents itself; instead, face it head-on.
We cannot say, “I have learned all I need to know; my opinions are fixed on everything. I refuse to change or to consider these new things.” Not today. Not any more. (16)
This growth mindset can keep us engaged with the world—with people—as we look around and try to grasp the meaning of whatever new thing we face, whatever new idea we encounter.
If you can develop this ability to see what you look at, to understand its meaning, to readjust your knowledge to this new information, you can continue to learn and to grow as long as you live and you’ll have a wonderful time doing it. (22)
Let’s look around with humility and curiosity to see, understand, and readjust, as needed…so we can learn and grow—and have a wonderful time doing it.
“None of us can afford to stop learning or to check our curiosity about new things, or to lose our humility in the face of new situations.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living
Source: Roosevelt, Eleanor. You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life. Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster Press, 1960. Print. [p. 16]
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