When is enough really enough?
I have a friend that is a voracious reader and life long student. Even though he is well into his career, a recognized professional by everyone that knows him, he continues to pursue knowing more. His study ethic is something he rarely talks about. Few of his peers have any idea. He never puts in expense claims for the tuition or book costs. He quietly goes about the pursuit of knowledge because, well, that is just what he does.
Sharing ideas with him is always exciting. One never knows how he will respond. The only certainty is that he will not reject or criticize a new concept. Curiosity, wonder, and questioning are normal responses. Occasionally I will read something written by someone he knows. In these cases, I am treated to insights about the author’s personality and background. Sharing always gives birth to more, usually in a way that I cannot anticipate.
I do wonder when enough will be enough. When should one take a break from learning? Is there ever a point when one has learned the optimal amount? One of the things that I have come to appreciate is the fact that there is a difference between learning to know it all and learning so one can be more effective in what one is doing. Learning to know it all suggests that the goal is to be at the top of the knowledge heap. Learning to be more effective suggests that there are others we can learn from.
On old wisdom father made the following observation; “We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all.” (1 Corinthians 8.3) We never learn enough until we understand the relationship between knowing and learning, arriving and walking.
Age has given me a gift; I know I am frustrated when I do not understand. I also know there are many that are more current and knowledgeable than I am. I can learn from them. I can contribute more effectively because of our conversation. Learning is living and growing.