The phrase “lifelong learning” is something of a buzzword in government and business circles, as they try desperately to help people adapt to a world where the needed skills for employment change almost by the year. The irony is, like so many other ‘buzzwords’, that the reality has always been with us.
When you’re a child, you tend to assume that at some future point, you;ll go through a magic transition and be an adult. In your teens, you try to persuade everybody that it’s happened already. In your 20s, you believe that it’s happened. In your 30s, you discover that this is nonsense, and that the process of growing up never really stops.
My Dad’s death over four years ago left me as the oldest male in my immediate family. I never really realised the implications of that, until a member of my family got ill. What are those implications? Well, if you’ve been in my position, you’ll know. If you haven’t, you probably won’t understand. All that matters, really, is that you learn, again, that the process of growing up never stops. And I can’t help feeling that the last few months have added a disproportionate number of extra years to me.
And you know what? I’m glad.
I was originally going to title this post “Things People Never Tell You As A Child”. I suspect that’s wrong, though. I suspect adults do tell you this but it’s something you can’t be taught by other people. Only life has the power to do that.