How old are you young now?

Thursday 5 July 2012, 12.01pm HKT


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMURRIKA! You’re one year older!

(It’s still the Fourth of July in the USA, by the way.)

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‘Lived’

YOU’VE HEARD  the words that our time on Earth is finite, haven’t you? That our allotted time in the here and now is not a long one — even short, nasty and brutish for some — right?

Most people don’t live more than 4,000 weeks.

Four thousand weeks is 76 years. Five thousand is already 95.

Four thousand weeks is only 28,000 days.

This is pretty galling to come to realise.

How many weeks have you lived — and ‘lived’ — already?

*

Digested the indigestible

A LOT OF US get taught in childhood that there are 10,000 things to learn — simple stuff such as a word a day, that sort of thing.

Ten thousand days is 27 years, 4 months and 25 days.

Twenty thousand days is 41 years — 25,000 is 68 years and 30,000 is 82.

So we’re supposed to learn 10,000 words, one a day, for basically the next 27½ years. (Or 1,428½ weeks, if you like.)

Now if most of us are going to alive for only 4,000 weeks, then we’re talking about spending one-third of our lives just learning The Basics.

That’s never going to work out in practical life for any of us.

We’ve been fed something indigestible — and have digested it.

Some other way is needed, obviously.

We’ve been fed this kind of food when we’re young

*

It’s time to run out of time

I GOT THINKING about this time duration thing because of a couple of people I know. Some time ago, they said they wanted to continue studying until they’re around 40.

And they really meant ‘studying’ in the sense of studying a course at a college or university — not ‘learning’ like the rest of us would (hopefully) mean like ‘learning from life.’

I find their idea of wanting to study right into middle age rather disturbing.

It’s even more disturbing to me to hear it from 20-somethings, and to see them actually make plans to carry out that idea.

Sure, life experience still comes on top of the studying. Yet the whole idea of someone still in their early 20s wanting to study like that really floors me.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying people shouldn’t want to study. But the idea that to WANT to study and map the whole thing out into middle age just seems like we’re setting ourselves up to restrict the fidelity of our life experiences yet to come.

Indeed, one of my friends went so far to say that getting married and having kids won’t be in the works for them because marriage and children would interfere with their studying.

I’m speechless, honestly.

I … just … don’t think that … studying has that high a value in life — not like learning in life: something I do happen to see as having a higher, more worthwhile value.

Am I the only one hit in the face like this with this thing?

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012.

Images: Things I Want To Do via c4c | WTF Meat via c4c | 40 Years of Childhood via apina.

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8 Responses to “How old are you young now?”

  1. Actually, I get it. Everyone in naturally inclined to do what they’re good at, right? I’ve always been a better student than anything else. Seriously. Well, so long as it wasn’t a physical education course. I still did my best, but that’s definitely not the realm of studying I’m inclined towards, you know? At any rate, if something were to happen that would allow me to be a student and study the rest of my life? I’d be all for it. I’m not so sure about giving up the opportunity of kids (er… *A* kid) for it, though. =/

    Like

    • Oh, yeah, I get it too. To be a student again? I’d go for it too. I think most people would too. But all the way constantly right into middle age, at the expense of having a family (children or childrenless)? Maybe not. Funny how they never say employment interferes with their studying plans…

      Like

  2. Ed Hurst said

    Yeah, nothing like a career in intramural indecision.

    Like

  3. Ed Hurst said

    Yeah, I stole it from another college student back in the 1970s. I’m not smart enough to originate it, but clever enough to know where it fits.

    Like

  4. Toivan said

    Isn’t getting children actually the best study there is? Studying life and joy. Well, maybe I’m to hippiesh.

    Btw – for us that have a hard time calculating:
    http://how-many-weeks-have-i-lived.com/

    Like

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