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coberst

Stop Lollygagging in the Comfort Zone

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Stop Lollygagging in the Comfort Zone

I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma. My mother once said to me “I do not want you to go into that pool hall. Those lollygagging old men do nothing but cuss and spit.” Of course I immediately asked my friend where this pool hall was because I recognized that it was something I must investigate. For those individuals whose mother never used the word, lollygag means fool around, dawdle.

I think that one great hindrance to learning is that we are all inclined to lollygag in familiar areas of the vast worlds of knowledge. We feel comfortable wrapped in those warm fuzzy intellectual domains of knowledge to which we have been introduced by our teachers. This inclination greatly inhibits our ability to explore the worlds of the unknown and excitingly new.

If we wonder off the beaten path we can discover what we have not ‘seen’ before. If we only study that which enhances our present state then we will never know what we don’t know.

Hobbies are ways in which many individuals express their individuality. Those matters that excite an individual interest and curiosity are those very things that lead the individual to self-understanding and also for others to understand them. Interests define individuality and help to provide meaning to life. We all look for some ideology, philosophy or religion to provide meaning to life.

When examining psychosis the psychiatrist advises either the establishment of an interpersonal evolvement or for finding interests and perhaps new patterns of thought.

None of us have discovered our full potentialities or have fully explored in depth those we have discovered. Self-development and self-expression are relatively new ideas in human history. The arts are one means for this self-expression. The artist may find drawing or constructing sculptures as a means for self-discovery. The self-learner may find essay writing of equal importance. Consciousness of individuality was first become a possibility in the middle Ages. The Renaissance and further the Reformation enhanced the development of individual identification.

I recommend that each of us develop the hobby of an intellectual life. We could add to our regular routine the development of an invigorating intellectual life wherein we sought disinterested knowledge; knowledge that is not for the purpose of some immediate need but something that stirs our curiosity, which we seek to understand for the simple reason that we feel a need to understand a particular domain of knowledge.

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