By Mariel Uy

“There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” – Donald Rumsfeld

It was only about a year ago when I realized how important learning is; how important it is to continuously seek knowledge and understanding and to explore. I’m not just talking about Physics, Math, Art or Literature kind of learning. I’m talking about everything. Everything you could possibly learn under the sun. Of course, it is impossible to learn everything because there will always be those things that are going to be unknown to us. But that’s the reason why we should be hungry to learn.

When I was in college, I had Judo for one of my physical education classes. It was not something that I chose. It was one of those predetermined classes when you’re in your freshman year. At first, I really didn’t like the sound of it. I mean who wants to get pulled from side to side and be thrown on the ground, right? But after quite some time, I started to like it and even came to a point where I missed it. Now, it’s not like I liked Judo so much, but it made me realize something. It made me realize how there could be something out there that could be totally right for me that I don’t know just because I haven’t experienced it, learned it, or knew about it. And this is what motivates me to learn and explore – the fact that I could be missing something absolutely perfect for me. And what better way there is to minimize that probability of not being able to experience and know about those absolutely perfect things for us than to continuously learn and explore.

Growing up, I didn’t get to read a lot. My mom would always push me to be productive and read books during summer breaks, but I hated it. I would rather roam Liberty City on Grand Theft Auto III again and again than to sit in a corner and hold compiled pieces of paper filled of what was “blah blah blahs” to me. And I regret it. I regret missing an opportunity to learn just because I was too obstinate and stubborn to try something new. Now, I like reading. I like reading because I learn a lot from it, especially from non-fiction books and internet articles. I love getting all those ideas, views, and opinions from the writers, because eventually, they help me make a mixture of my own that helps me understand myself more, helps me know myself more.

So don’t be afraid to explore both sides of things, all sides of things. Because the more you learn, the more things you can work from and with to build who you are. And the more concrete sense of self you have, the more sense you get out of living. So be open, take every opportunity you get to learn something new, and explore. Cause there’s so much to learn about the world out there and there’s still so much more to learn about yourself.

Image: Joshua Earle

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