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10 Inspiring Quotes about Learning

September 2, 2015 | by Dr. Yvette Alt Miller

To inspire you and your family for a brand-new, successful year.

With school starting up again, students around the world are gearing up for another year of learning. Here are ten memorable quotes about learning to help inspire you and your family for a brand new, successful year!

1. Tell me and I forget, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn. – Benjamin Franklin

As a teacher, I love this quote because it expresses a deep truth that education best happens when we make it a part of who we are. Actions can be the best education. This year, try brainstorming ways to embrace new experiences – you'll gain valuable lessons and new skills and perspectives along the way.

2. Let your home be a meeting place for sages. – Pirkei Avot 1:4

Pirkei Avot, a 2,000 year old compendium of Jewish knowledge, offers a first step for acquiring wisdom and knowledge: respect those who can teach you, and seek ways to be close to them. This year, consider re-thinking your surroundings: start looking for ways to transform your home in a forum for learning and growth.

3. Ask a question and you're a fool for three minutes – don't ask a question and you're a fool all your life. – Chinese proverb

A shy person cannot learn. – Pirkei Avot, 2:6

Not wanting to look foolish can be a big obstacle to asking questions, but others seldom judge us as harshly as we fear. Consider asking questions not as admissions of weakness, but as the sign of a growing and lively mind.

4. Children are like wet cement: whatever falls on them makes an impression. – Dr. Chaim Ginott, Israeli early-education pioneer

All our actions have an effect on our kids, and whether we like it or not we are their role models. Kids are incredibly perceptive. When they see our character traits on display, they learn that these are "normal" and emulate them.

5. It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. – Albert Einstein

Einstein is sometimes depicted in popular culture as an other-worldly genius to whom insights came with little effort. This quote reminds us that, in reality, he was an immensely hard-working scientist whose success came after years of dedication and hard work. We can all work on increasing the amount of time we spend on problems and tasks that are important to us.

6. Rabbi Hillel says not say 'When I am free I will study', for perhaps you will not become free. – Pirkei Avot 2:6

When Hillel couldn't afford the fees of his local school, he would climb the roof and listen to lessons through an open window, even during the harsh winter months. He recognized that no obstacle is insurmountable to someone who truly wishes to learn. This year, even if your schedule is already busy, experiment with making room for classes or other activities you've been meaning to try.

7. Perfect is the enemy of good. – Voltaire

My husband learned this quote in medical school, where it helped him and other Type-A perfectionists get over their fear of making mistakes. Don’t let your fear of messing up prevent you from growing. Instead aim for "good enough."

8. It's the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. – Aristotle

Learning and growth require being open to new perspectives. This year, try to resolve stepping outside your comfort zone and being more open to new ideas and experiences.

9. Ben Zoma says: Who is wise? He who learns from every person. – Pirkei Avot 4:1

Education comes in all shapes and from all sources. Everyone has something to teach. A key to growth is being open to learning from all different types of people.


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