This week’s session of the Barbee Library Max and Sarah Williams Life Long Learners series “How Winston Churchill Changed the World” explored Churchill’s pivotal decision to fight Germany rather than to surrender to those around him urging appeasement. This was the 9th session in a 17-part series, confirming that there is much to be learned about one of the most remarkable leaders in western history.
Churchill has been described as determined, tenacious, curious, scholarly, well-read, well-spoken, patriotic, and visionary. Participants in the course and our course leaders embody many of these same virtues. Nonetheless, learning does not necessarily come naturally to many of us. Even Churchill noted, “Personally, I’m always ready to learn, although I do not like being taught.”
In a world where information reduced to sound bites, what motivates course participants to delve into learning with such enthusiasm? It may be that history holds a special fascination. It may be regret that their education left so much untaught and unlearned. It may simply be a desire for growth and personal development. As Churchill said, “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”
Whatever the motivation, one thing is clear. Life Long Learning is less about accumulating facts and more about creating and honing a perspective through which to view the events of the past and the present. One need not become a walking encyclopedia. As depicted in the marvelous 2017 movie, Darkest Hour, it was ultimately the wisdom of the common people on the subway that cemented Churchill’s resolve to fight. The rest, as they say, is history.
This and future Barbee Life Long Learner programs are open to everyone and currently streaming on Zoom due to the pandemic. If you’d like to attend a session or a series, call 910-278-4283 to register. No need to make a life long commitment… just give it a try!
For many, I think, it is just the enjoyment of listening to an informed lecture, even if we don’t remember most of it. And for many it is the comaraderie of the learning experience and what we learn from each other. And for others, it is the exploration of topics about which we know nothing or next to nothing.
Thank you, Stan, for all that you and your team have done to elevate this program. Your ability to migrate the group to Zoom and grow the membership during a pandemic ensured that learning can continue for everyone.
I feel fortunate to belong to the group. The lectures are stimulating, as are the comments and conversations that follow. Subjects covered are important and the “”student body” is genuinely committed to life long learning.
Thanks for your comment, Don. As someone who only drops in periodically, I remained at the tenacity and camaraderie of the group members and the level of discussion!
Thanks Barbara for your continued support of our group. Although the Zoom format is a bit clunky and less personal, we have adjusted. The greatest advantage is that we long time learners continue to connect with our learning community during a time when human connection is more important than ever. The added bonus for us has been that we have the capacity to connect with new members from as far away as Massachusetts and Minnesota.
Lastly, the content in this lecture series is approachable, interesting and informative almost every week. The Max and Sara Williams Library group has been a welcome opportunity for those of us who wish to continue learning . Thanks again to FOLSOI for your encouragement and support.
Thank you, Mimi, for all you do for the Life Long Learners. I agree with you that the bonds within the group and across geographies are more valuable than ever given pandemic isolation!
I agree with everything that has been said about our group of lifelong learners and the lectures that have been presented.
In these difficult times it has been a pure joy to be able to Zoom with so many interesting people and listen to the many ideas and thoughts they bring to the table. Thank you all.
Thanks, Sherry – I am always amazed at the level of engagement of the Life Long Learners, even as an occasional “visitor” in my role as FOLSOI Roving Reporter.