July 10. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” (Ben Franklin)
Benjamin Franklin lived most of his life in the 18th century, long before the idea of student loans that stay with you for 10 years or more after graduation, and yet his advice is just as pertinent today as it was over two centuries ago. And, the investment of which he spoke wasn’t necessarily monetary, nor does it need to be today.
Think of it in terms of time. My time is a very limited, and valuable commodity. I can invest it in many ways. I can take time with my family, at work, in recreation, sleep, etc. Some of the ways I invest my time have no return whatsoever. If I spend my time idly watching mindless television, there is not much return. Sleep is necessary to regenerate me in mind and body, but other than that it doesn’t pay back much.
There are some investments of my time that pay back in dollars and cents. When I go to work, I get paid for my time. That pay funds all of the other things I do with my life. The harder I work, the more I get paid, and the better my life for myself and my family.
The time I spend with family and friends enriches my soul. The payback isn’t what drives me, but it is immeasurable. The love and caring I feel from my family and friends makes the time I spend with them some of the best I can ever spend.
Knowledge is in a class by itself. The time or money that I spend in learning pays back very well in all aspects of my life. From my performance at work, to my relationships at home and with my friends, to the way my soul is fed, gaining knowledge always pays off.
But, the investment in knowledge is mostly about how I spend my time. As I wrote the other day, I like to spend at least some time every day reading something that enriches my mind, my soul, or both. I love to read and to learn. It can be cliché to say that I am a lifelong learner, but I truly believe that’s how I am.
Today my reflection is on what parts of my life could use more enrichment from increasing my knowledge. Where can I spend some additional time learning so that my career, relationships, and soul will be better for the effort?