“I am learning all the time.

The tombstone will be my diploma.”

Eartha Kitt, entertainer


Rocky Marciano was Heavyweight Boxing Champion Of The World from 1952 until he retired in 1956. He was undefeated in 49 fights and won 43 by knockout. Near the end of Rocky’s career a reporter stepped into the locker room for an interview before a fight. He found the champ reading a book on “How to Box.” Even after devastating every challenger put in front of him, Rocky still felt there might be more to learn.

So what have you learned today?

In his book, Born For Love, Leo Buscaglia, talked about his childhood experience at the dinner table. Leo was part of a large Italian family. After the meal, Leo’s father would go around the table and ask each of his children what they learned today. “And you better be ready to tell him something,” Leo explained. As a grown man in his seventies, Leo often found himself asking before going to sleep,

“What have I learned today?” And if he drew a blank it was off to an encyclopedia to look up some wacky statistic or piece of information so he could satisfy his father’s requirement and get a good nights sleep.

You and I have 100 billion brain cells. And if you want to keep them dancing you need to feed them some new thoughts and ideas. But don’t take my word for it. Former First Lady Laura Bush explains, “A love of books, of holding a book, turning its pages, looking at its pictures, and living its fascinating stories goes hand-in-hand with a love of learning.”

Let me add some exciting news to her words, library cards are free.

Do you have one?

One of the most amazing discoveries of my life was learning that after age 60 I could take classes free at any state university. As a senior citizen at Ohio University, I studied acting, painting, public speaking, writing, history, and half-dozen other subjects. In the near future watch for me at Hocking College. I’ll be the dude with gray hair and a beard in the glass blowing and ceramics class.

And please don’t be concerned about the crash, boom, and bang sound coming from North George Street. That’s me playing the drums and pretending to be Ringo Starr. I’m entertaining my neighbors but my wife thinks I need a few more lessons before I take my show on the road. Learning to play a musical instrument just might be what the good brain doctor ordered.

Hey, look at the clock. Time for me to lace up my running shoes and put in a few miles on the path near my house. I’ve been an avid runner over thirty years and guess what. I still read books and watch training videos on the subject.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” Shunryu Suzuki, Japanese Zen Monk