To say that times are tumultuous now seems like an understatement. On one hand, the air speaks volumes of panic and worry, but on the other, of quiet and introspective contemplation. In these unprecedented times, we have found a way to bore down to the core of human life – the ever-shining beacon of learning.

What we don’t know puzzles us and unsettles us. Learning has always been the torch that provides perspective and leads us back to comfort, back into the safe haven of the known and the familiar. It is what makes us thrive. We are evolving constantly, and evolution comes packaged with a promise to be better and to stay curious. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but for us, it is the driving force of innovation, learning, and growth.

This lockdown may seem like an unending abyss of unfamiliarity and woe but the world has always been a constantly changing space. As times change, so do the skills we need to do cope with the changes. In an effort to thrive in the world, we pick up essential skills and build a vast resource of knowledge to draw upon. These too change with time but learning is what makes us see beyond the monsters of discomfort. At many points in our lives, we feel that we have learned enough, that we know what we need to know to get by. We fall into the comfortable embrace of complacency many a time but we are constantly reminded that we are forever learning.

The modern society has institutionalised learning so much so that it becomes synonymous with the four walls of the school system. We are led to believe that once we graduate, we are “learned’, and ready to take on the world with our cushioned know-how of certain select fields. But ask any 20-something year old if they are ready (and willing) to conquer the world, and they will probably say no.

As we grow older, we are enriched by years of experience and memories. We grow into ourselves; we reiterate and reinterpret what we already know, the wires in our heads untiringly forging new circuits. Hidden in the depths of our minds, we are incessantly observing, registering, and understanding a multitude of things. While learning is non-negotiable, we can take control of what we learn and use it as a means to better ourselves. Here are some recommendations –

Language – Set out to learn a new language and flaunt your multilingual tongue. Use apps like Duolingo, Memrise, Rosetta Stone for easy access to language learning!

Culture – Accustomed to our own culture, we may be prisoners of our own cultural perspectives. Read and learn about different cultures to gain insight into other ways of being. Enlighten yourself with differing religious, political beliefs, and traditions.

Cooking – Head over to the kitchen to experience the chemistry of everyday life as wafts of aromatic smells engulf you. Explore other cuisines, develop a healthy diet, and learn to sustain yourself. 

History – The problems of today can often be solved with the stories of yesterday. Discover the yesteryears – civilisations and mighty kingdoms filled to the brim with interesting people and accounts of war and peace. 

Art – Find a calming way to express your creative side and immerse yourself in the world of art. Grab hold of the nearest pen or paintbrushes to render your imagination into the corporeal world. Freeze moments in time with photography or craft your own realities with filmmaking, the choice is yours!

Read – In these trying times, turn to the world of fantasy, fiction or non-fiction to escape into a blissful wonderland. From self-improvement to thrillers, from fantasy to autobiographies – take your pick!

While these may be some good avenues to explore, you can also invest in yourself. Learn about the things that bring you joy, what keeps you going, and what might inhibit you. Simultaneously, invest in bettering yourself by reading books, getting back to your hobbies, joining online courses, or by volunteering and interning in areas you are passionate about. Take a much-needed break from the unceasing humdrum and murmur of everyday life and appreciate the people who turn bad days better. Explore the unexplored and emerge more learned than before by joining our online Gharse Karona Sessions that help you learn art, comedy, poetry, and baking, among many others.

The lockdown may be a special opportunity to catch up on knowledge, but learning should be a constant companion that adds colours and excitement to dull, monotonous days. So, catch up on some sweet learning any chance you get! Learn to learn and learn to grow.