When I was little, my dad used to drive me to school on his way to the office. I would sit there, listening to Engines of Our Ingenuity or one of his books/lectures on tape. At the time I probably would have rather been listening to Weird Al (because I was cool like thatâ€¦), but I still tried to pay attention. When we would pull up in the carpool line and I was ready to get out of the car, he didn’t give the standard â€œhave a nice day at school!â€ He said â€œlearn as much as you can!â€ He said that every day. I was a pretty hyperactive and distractible child, and didn’t always heed his advice, but that message has become a huge part of who I am now. If I’m passionate about anything, I’m passionate about learning.
There are a lot of things I’m grateful for, but since we’re picking favorites, I must say I am most thankful to be part of a family that prizes continuous education. It would be nice to say that my drive to read and learn is self-generated, but my family instilled the importance of education in me from birth. They are the ones who deserve the credit.
My father is like a walking encyclopedia, and has the widest knowledge base of anyone I know. I am continually humbled and inspired by his insatiable drive to fill his brain. My mother reads everything about yoga, anatomy, medicine, health, mind, body and soul she can get her hands on (and throws some Tolstoy in the mix occasionally for good measure). My grandmother is legitimately the most well-read person I have ever met (my father and my Uncle Richard closely follow), and continues to be a voracious reader at 80. She still takes classes at the Women’s Institute, and audits classes at Rice. So many people become complacent as they get older, and allow themselves to stagnate. Not her.
My family has taught me the value of knowledge, not just through their words, but through their actions. I will always be thankful for that. I don’t know if I can ever catch up to them, but I can certainly try.