What if Giving is a form of Learning?

Jul 03, 2015 // No Comments » // Conversational Circles

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A recent meeting with Ramona Pierson, CEO and Co-Founder of Declara sets me thinking about the topic on lifelong learning.

I asked:

“What if Learning is not just about receiving but giving?”

I often proudly professed I spent no less than 10% of my annual income on self-development; books, workshops/seminars, courses locally and overseas, online or live presentations. Be it for professional development and/or self-interest.

“Can you stop receiving and start giving?” a friend recently commented on my overdrive desires of self-improvement.

“What’s wrong with continuous learning when I can?” I disagreed readily.

“Nothing wrong, but I think it’s time to go out and give what you know so that in the process knowing what you might not have known…” he insisted matter-of-factly.

“But I am…” I responded in denial.

The story of Ramona (you can read it here) touches me deeply as she recounted her younger years where learning was a natural for her; from the fascination of her dad’s home experimentation (in propulsion sciences) to academic excellence (in particularly math) and athletics, she excels in them all. A horrific traffic accident almost robbed her life but left her coma for almost 18 months, she awoken blinded and many parts of her body replaced with artificial materials…She recounted how she learned to speak, moves and eat all over again.

She regained her sight some years later via a tweak in her brain.

In September 2013, she co-founded Declara – It’s a type of social network that links everyone in a company or an organization. Declara’s system learns how people interact, what types of questions they’re looking to answer, and who can best answer them.

“I have decided to devote the rest of my life giving my gift to this world where learning will never be the same again…” She professed proudly.

At the side after her formal presentation, we embraced with a hug as a mark of my respect for her perseverance, courage and above all, love.

More significantly, I went away being disturbed with this question:

“What if Giving is a form of Learning?”

Are you into lifelong learning…ehmm…giving?

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