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Serendipity

 


 

on serendipity

Conversations with my granddaughter

Dr Alex Tang

 

Hello little one,

It is a joy watching you rediscover the world afresh every morning. The word that comes to Grampa’s mind in watching you is serendipity. It is a long word but it just means discovering or enjoying something good by chance or mistake. Serendipity happens not by searching but by being alive to the moment. From the moment you wake up you are full of energy and want to rush to play with your toys and stuff. Grampa cannot catch up with you anymore. And sometimes Grampa wonders if you have a spare battery hidden somewhere because your energy is boundless.

Each day is a day of discovery and of learning new things, enjoying new experiences, and new sensations through your senses. By playing through the day you are learning much. Through serendipity your learning of new things and new skills increase by leaps and bounds. Every moment brings new objective lesson to be included in your ever increasing knowledge of the world around you.

Little one, you reminded Grampa that big people has made learning a chore; a legalistic way to acquire new skills and knowledge. They call it schooling or formal education. They force all the little children through it so these children can become productive members of society; which usually means they get good jobs and make a lot of money. Schooling tells the children what they should learn, when they should learn it and how they could remember what they were told. Basically schooling produces little clones of conformist worker drones for the factories. Schooling has become synonymous with learning. And this type of learning kills off serendipity.

Learning, little one as you have so ably demonstrated, is play. We learn through playing. And everyone enjoys playing. It is fun and energizing. There is laughter and joy. And there is serendipity. And before you know it, everyone has learned something new. How Grampa wish that big people realizes that and return learning to playing. We really learn more about the world, values and character by playing than through memorizing huge chunks of textbooks for examinations (which we promptly forget after the examinations anyway).

So play on, little one. You will realize one day that life is a big game. So do not take it too seriously, play it well, and have fun along the way. Who knows, serendipity may come along and brings you wisdom to finish this game well.

 

28 August 2014

 

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