All or Nothing… which is the quest?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All or Nothing?.”

This is an easy prompt for me.   I prefer to be wanting everything rather than nothing.

Wanting everything is often meant critically…when I say I want to study everything, grouchy stern people say “that isn’t possible.  You can’t study everything.”  Well, that’s true of course, but I like to think of it as an infinite list of topics, ranging from all kinds of art work to zillions of obscure tid-bits of information.

At age 50 I decided to go to college.  I had not done so earlier in life, as I either didn’t think of it–or lacked funding.

The reaction I got from many people, when I told them that I had gone back to school, was– “why?”

No reason–except that knowledge is its own reward.  It isn’t necessary to actually do anything with that education, except to invest the thoughts and ideas of the ages in a deeper understanding of life.  There is always a cause and effect, and a logical, if hidden, reason for everything.

The  rewards of wanting everything are such that one learns that aspiring to a goal is fuel for the soul, the reach that tries to grasp meaning and satisfaction.

On the other hand, wanting Nothing is not only unfulfilling, but also stultifying.  The person who does not have a goal–no matter how unlikely that goal may be–has nothing to reach for or strive toward.  There are levels involved in the concept of Everything, and although total achievement of everything to be had in life is unlikely–wanting Nothing is a self-fulfilled void.

4 Comments

  1. Congrats on going back to school! Like you, I want to know about everything and am working hard to instill that love for learning in my children. They used to ask me, “How did you know THAT?” and my response was almost always, “I read it.” Now, they’re finally reading and lately have been excitedly sharing tidbits they learned. It’s great, because I get information about things I don’t normally research (for instance, my son is really into military drone craft right now…). Your piece here was great–thanks for being an inspiration and example of life-long learning!

    1. thank you. I couldn’t, or rather didn’t know that I could, pursue higher education when I was young. Got more out of it at age 50-70 though anyway…still had problems but not the same as younger students, that is didn’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend, had a stable income and a good job, husband picked me up at the bus stop and had a nice meal ready when we got home. People used to ask me, still do, “WHY would anyone want to go to school when they didn’t have to?” I just said education is its own reward.

      1. Definitely! Sometimes I think of going back for the PH.D. when the kids are older…but the cost is a bit prohibitive. Maybe my brain will be content with continuous learning via blogs… 🙂

      2. Now it is possible to get the higher degrees online. When I was in school I managed to stop just short of the PhD in History. I was/am ABD, all but dissertation. I definitely regret not finishing, as I was on like the third draft, and if I do say so myself it was a viable topic. What happened was that I ran out of time, and even used up the extra time they gave me. It would have ben nice to get the degree…just to have it. Education is definitely its own reward. I am always asked “why?” Not by my kids, grandkids, they are also (mostly) scholars. My oldest daughter is getting ready to retire from her hospital RN job, but she is also finishing up a post-masters field. Same as me…she’s doing it largely because she can, and for the advanced knowledge.
        One reason I like blogging so much is that I learn all kinds of things from other bloggers, not just jibber-jabber, but real knowledge about fascinating things.

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