Roger Harty: We Can Always Learn

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rsz_roger_hartyWE can always learn. One of my favourite sayings is;

May I live as though I’m going to die tomorrow,

May I learn as though I’m going to live forever.

In other words, we should learn every single day of our lives. We are in very dangerous territory when we think we know it all.

That is why it is so important to practice being a good listener as I remember someone once saying “when we speak, we talk about what we know already, but when we listen carefully we are opening ourselves up to the whole world of learning something new.”

‘We have two ears and one mouth we should use them accordingly’

It is great to have first-hand experience of this – which has happened to me on many occasions – but I particularly remember one such incident.

I got into a debate with a man about life and in my own opinion I was going pretty well, when I attempted to seal the debate by saying that “the best things in life are free”.

Being pretty sure of myself, I was about to walk away smugly when suddenly he said “no that is not the case!”

With my intellectual debating skills and my ego being challenged I abruptly replied; “Look, come on sure, everyone knows that the best things in life are free”, when he again turned to me and again said; “No! The best things in life are wild and free”.

I was about to retort to keep my side of the debate going when suddenly I realised that it was ‘Game, set and match’ to this other man.

If I am to be honest, I must admit that my ego was just a little bruised but that was soon surmounted by the joy of having learned something new.

When I took a moment to reflect, I realised how right he was. We can get many things for free for instance ‘buy a bottle of fizzy drink and get one free’ – ‘buy 6 packets of crisps of and get 3 free – ‘buy a packet of chocolate biscuits and get 50% free’ – ‘buy a ¼ Pounder Burger and get a free chips or mineral’. You know the story how we are constantly being surrounded and – if I’m to be honest – ‘bombarded’ by these sort of offers on a daily if not hourly basis.

It is marketing at its best and you would want to have the willpower of a canonised saint to resist (“I can resist anything but temptation” – Oscar Wilde).

I know for a fact that I have succumbed to this sort of stimulation on many occasions, but I equally know that I have regretted it just about as many times.

How many of you out there would agree?

The real question here is –‘I know this stuff is free but at what cost is it to my body (and the country’s economy!) in the long run?  I’m not going to get into a big debate on this, just to mention obesity, diabetes etc!!

Now, wild and free? That is a different matter.  Wild fresh air, fresh (not processed) vegetables and fruit from the garden, fresh herbs and fruit from the woods, the sound of the ocean, the laughter of friends and children al of these things that we so take for granted.

That man was right – I’m so glad I listened and learned something new!

Next week I am going to write about – The power of the sea!

• Roger Harty is a life coach and can be contacted on 087-6128336, on twitter at @Innerjoyz1 or by email

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