Do we live to learn or learn to live?

 

These type of questions, the existential type, are the most controversial ones in most of our minds. We constantly try to elucidate them by looking at both sides and trying to decide which one of the two is better or perhaps more exact. But what if I told you that trying to find the answer this way is wrong?

One of the biggest mistakes of all humanity and especially of philosophy is that we have been taught that when solving something the answer is either black or white, never gray. Because of this there are millions of unanswered questions, the question ‘do we live to learn or learn to live?’ included. I, on the other hand, like to think in a different way. I believe that there is gray, maybe not in every occasion, but in most.

If we try to limit ourselves to only one side of this question then it would be impossible. You may ask, why? The answer is simple. When we see the ‘live to learn’ side we can appreciate that there are people that actually live to learn, simply because they are lovers of knowledge. This is true for most of the geniuses out there for whom life is just a means to an end, the end being knowledge. Hence they are constantly learning. On the other side there is the ‘learn to live’ party. On this side of the table people also see learning as a means to an end however this time the end is money, not knowledge. A good illustration of this could be the person who will go to university simply to receive a respected degree, start making money and then enjoying life. The point that I am trying to convey is that we can’t fall into the mistake of limiting answers and possible solutions; we shouldn’t have to choose between black and white – in this case learning and living. If we don’t fall into one of these categories say default, we should be able to say that we learn to live and also live to learn. We should be able to say that both sides are correct, because, in the simplest of terms: without life we cannot learn, and without learning we cannot live.

However the biggest problem is not the limiting itself per se, but on taking one part of the equation out entirely. If we take the ‘life’ out of the equation we can’t learn, and likewise without learning we can’t live, and that is exactly what is happening in the world right now. Our society is not providing us with lifelong learning opportunities we need to grow intellectually and personally. It’s only providing the new generations with the basic concepts of the world that are acquired at school.

After school we are supposed to get a degree and start working, at a factory, for the government or other organizations. Society is using education to persuade us that the right way is the ‘learn to live’ side. By doing so, lots of people become puppets of society that are born, live, produce and then die, this way being beneficial for the economy. They make money for the leaders of the world and politicians who are the ones who, without knowing anything about education, constantly use it to their advantage. At the same time they, manipulating the people by cutting the gray area out of the equation and forcing us to live out lives a certain way, all without our realising. They take away our free will to decide which of the two sides we want to be on, and completely eliminate in our minds any possibility of a grey area existing between the two.

We do not realise any of this is happening to us simply because we were taught not to. Since a very young age, the education system has progressively eliminated individuality and creativity from all of us, as we have been taught not to think differently. We have been persuaded to believe that by thinking the same way as everyone else we are going to be accepted. This comes from the fact that a long time ago when humans had not even thought of civilizations, and we were nomads. Staying in groups was safer and therefore preferred and promoted, but now that we do have civilizations they are still trying to inculcate us with these ideas; this way becoming easier to be handled by the people who really can think.

You may be thinking that ‘society’ is actually created by us and on this I will have to agree completely. That’s precisely why we need to stop thinking the way we do at the moment, and start changing the society so that we and the future generations can have good education as a right not a privilege, the liberty to think, to speak, and have lifelong learning opportunities. If we can achieve this society we will only then have democratic countries whose governments do not manipulate the masses. Education is one of the most powerful things on earth and although you have probably heard this being said numerous times, I implore you to consider it once again from my point of view. With education a human can question his surroundings, and he gets to decide the which path he wants to follow in his life: the black, the white or the grey.

In conclusion, questions like the aforementioned are very controversial but also relative today. Any side you choose is the correct one, as long as you do so using your free will. There are not only two paths but three to decide from; you can ‘live to learn’, ‘learn to live’, or you can just learn and live, this way taking our society back from those who had it and used it as a playground. They are the ones corrupting our education and limiting the knowledge available. As many people say ‘knowledge is power’, and a man with knowledge and idealism is a very powerful weapon indeed.

ABRAHAM VILLEGAS

Email: abrahamvillegasa@hotmail.com

 

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About

I'm a introspective person. But very hungry for success and for show the world who I am. And make an impact.thats why I want to be a neurosurgeon, because I think that the brain is the most beautiful and unknown part of the body, and a lot of people every year die because there is not enough neurosurgeons trying to break the wall of the impossible. And I want to be one of those man that will break it and help people all around the world.


139 Comments » for Do we live to learn or learn to live?
  1. Shureen Baskaran says:

    Hey Abraham, your essays seems to be really vivid and holistic which is really good and efficient. I personally feel that the essay is pretty decent overall despite some minor grammatical and spelling errors that needs to be fixed. Thank you 🙂

  2. abraham says:

    Thank you shureen

  3. Ashraf says:

    I think that it will be .we learn to live it is very simple because we try to solve the problem like Environmental pollution by learning the ways if we can’t solve this problem we will have scarcity in mankind

  4. Ana aebelaez says:

    Very good abeaham

  5. Pilar Hung says:

    Excelente Abraham

  6. Luzmidia says:

    La educación, lo mejor sin ella no hay absolutamente nada, el tema del cerebro me encanto. Gracias

  7. Sydney Stair says:

    Yes! Indeed, “knowledge is power”. Overlooking your gramatical erratum, I just love your philosophical view point. I wish you the best Abraham.

  8. David says:

    Excelente.

  9. F.t julian urr says:

    Excellent

  10. Wendy says:

    Hey There,
    Congrats, go for it! God bless you richly ????

  11. Que interesante ver un chico adolescente con esas reflexiones y cuestionamientos tan profundos, pese a la influencia del mercantilismo.cosmico que aliena la mente de los jóvenes y terminan metiéndose.solo en el bun de la moda y la tendencia de pensamiento mediático. Si

  12. Diego Morante says:

    Abraham.Felicitaciones muy bueno el escrito y tus reflexiones.
    Dios te guia para que cumplas tus sueños.

  13. Jose Concepcion-Rodriguez says:

    Hello Abraham, your essay is truly amazing, vivid, and passionate-driven. There are a couple of grammatical errors, as well as some punctuation errors. But over all, it is truly great. Thank you.

  14. Ana Maria Garzon says:

    Hey Abraham! Very interesting essay! Congrats!

  15. Francisco Riascos says:

    Abraham, sincerely my congratulations, actually it is an essay very deep that tries to resolve a big question; in spite of your short age you are very creative.

    Best regards.

  16. Hugo Paz Quintero says:

    All that say the author is really true

  17. It is an important way of promoting thinking to achieve people get more interested in learning. When we start studying to learn instead of earning money or passing a subject, then, we will be more creative and independent, specially when trying about country’s important proposal

  18. Angela Cubides says:

    Excellent reflection

  19. Diana says:

    Excellent!

  20. Oscar says:

    Congratulations

  21. Gloria Prado says:

    Espero puedas conseguir los deseos de tu corazón

  22. Daniela says:

    Fascinante

  23. Liliana ibarra says:

    I agree! Abraham you are so introspective and make us start to think! Thank you it is an excellent test.

  24. Meelad says:

    An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life!
    Your idea is quite powerful which if introspected can prove life changing and can provide the much needed reform if inculcated into the educational system.
    Great job!

  25. Julian munoz says:

    Abraham: is the question actually pertinent? Why do we have to answer it?

  26. Kalpana says:

    Reallyyy…. Hats off to u… Keep writing n keep shairing ur malifiecent thoughts… It can change the world.. Good luckkk

  27. Amin says:

    Fantastic, and eye opening, I like this perspective

  28. Tatiana vasquez says:

    Congratulations Abraham .. I’m
    Agree with you .. the education is one of the most powerful things on earth!!!

  29. Claudia Barona says:

    Felicitaciones este ensayo es un reflejo de la bendición de Dios en tu vida, deseo seas el mejor neurocirujano

  30. subi j mera says:

    there is indeed a grey side

  31. Faid says:

    You seem like an intelligent person and I can see that you’re full of incredible ideas that you want to share, my only advice is for you to read more and learn how to keep the easy interesting by adding more/new ideas and learn how to write them in your own beautiful way , you’re incredible really.

  32. Laetitia Reduron says:

    Very good essay! Love the topic.

  33. Fedra Oviedo says:

    Muy buen ensayo ????????

  34. Antonieta Perea Quintana says:

    Abraham, Excelente .felicitaciones !!!

  35. Ines says:

    Knowledge is the legacy of the future
    Well done Abby congratulations

  36. Ines says:

    Knowledge is the legacy of the future
    Well done Abby

  37. Carime says:

    Excellent, I really loved a reflection

  38. Gustavo Montaño says:

    Very good, it s an excellent essay and you are such a sucessfull human been. Keep going in road to be the best medicitian.

  39. Martha orozco says:

    Felicitaciones. Abraham

  40. Edgar says:

    Very good essay, remember, imagination
    Is more important that knowledge (Albert Einstein) you have a great imagination that creat knowledge, your essay is to know the difference between to live and to learn. Congratulations

  41. Chawki says:

    Your writing skills are amazing you had organized ideas and used words that most of the people can understand moreover you discuss the subject logically. I am just amazed good work

  42. Gokul Rajendran says:

    Good.

  43. Elizabeth says:

    Que buen escrito. Excelente cuestionamiento y reflexión.

  44. Nelson Andres Campuzano says:

    Gracias por compartirnos tu ensayo mil bendiciones.

  45. Eliana Gonzalez says:

    Really inspiring. I never thought it that way, thanks for opening my eyes ????????

  46. Ayabulela Baai says:

    I like that you aren’t vague and that you get to the point, overall it’s a good speech.

  47. Salman says:

    Excellent.writing skills are Awesome????????????????

  48. Amirlan says:

    Yes! exactly! What a wonderful idea. 🙂 Following a heart, and with an amazing knowledge must lead us to real success, won’t they?

  49. Katelyn says:

    Hey, nice essay you created. Overall, the message you are tying to convey is well thought out in terms of your idea. There are a few minor grammatical errors, but I’m pretty confident you will be able to fix them. 🙂

  50. Ali Ali says:

    Man Your Essay Is Dope But I Wanna Tell U That We Live To Teach And Let The Next Generation To Make It Better ????????????

  51. Sandra Peter says:

    Impressive ????

  52. Mais says:

    Perfect ????.
    Writing skills check.
    Main idea check and interesting.
    There some little mistakes like spelling and grammatical but you have a great perspective ????

  53. Amelia Kolk says:

    I think this essay really makes us think. That there’s not only two sides to something but also a third door (grey). It just takes a little harder to find, that we just have to work a little harder to get something in-between our two options. It’s a good essay well done!!

  54. Annie Liew says:

    Wow! How could the essay will be very interesting to read? It really made me felt ‘wow’ when I read it. Impressive! ????????

  55. Nadia K. says:

    Wow, I’ve thought about the 2 questions many times, but your thoughts are very impressive. Well done!

  56. Jeyan says:

    Hey Abraham, loved your point of view! Besides a couple of grammatical errors, I find your essay very good. It made me question and think about my place on this world. Thank you!

  57. Amani Joachim says:

    So wow, very nice essay…. ☺ keep it up Abraham

  58. Kemas Rayfaldo says:

    I this this is a good essay bro!!

  59. Mailon G. says:

    Very good, nice to see the a philosophical view of education.

    BTW, the “gray” side you talked about is what Hegel, an German idealist philosopher, called the Synthesis; u may have heard of it before: It’s the conciliation between Thesis and Antithesis (Live to Learn or Learn to Live).

    Example: http://bookofthrees.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/hegel-dialectic-900×982.jpg

    Gd luck on ur journey,
    dM.

  60. Magali Narváez says:

    I like it! The life is gray so LIVE and LEARN!

  61. GLADSON LYON says:

    It’s good,for sure

  62. Agustina Kramer says:

    Sadly it’s true that society push us to continue with Capitalism legacy.
    Your essay gave me hope, hope to believe that the change lean on the honest people. And also very happy and proud that at least there is someone that shares my opinion.
    Keep up with the good work!

  63. Karla says:

    Live and learn nicely put, wish there was more enthusiastic people like you

  64. Almagul says:

    Loved it! Very impressive!

  65. Hafsah Aamer says:

    Nicely put. Best of Luck! 🙂

  66. Allison Fiedler says:

    wow! Really mind blowing..

  67. Victoria says:

    Thank you for this essay. It made me think about strong ties between education and quality of people’s life, freedom of their minds and ability to think deeply. Good job.

  68. Agnes Gosali says:

    This is such an open-minded essay I’ve ever read. It makes me realize something about education and makes me appreciate it even more.

    Thanks for this, very inspiring????

  69. Zena Ayubu says:

    Wow! I like your topic and I have learn something. Thank you

  70. Zena Ayubu says:

    Wow! I like your topic and I have learn something that we should learn how to live and live to learn Thank you

  71. Ivana Clara says:

    I can’t say anything. That’s amazing essay. In fact, i hate to read long essay, moreover using English which are not my main language. But yours aren’t. I felt inspired. Good job ????

  72. Chaima haij says:

    Wooow mind blowing !! Very impressive ????

  73. Tanushree sen says:

    Woww amazing…. Keep it up

  74. Yara says:

    Actually it’s great and i really like the part there’s grey not all white or black maybe grey that’s true

  75. Nozipho Lokwe says:

    Truly eye opening!! Continue writing you were born to do so????????

  76. Megan Erdle says:

    That’s quite an interesting topic. I completely agree about the section “fitting in” is to be accepted. Great job on your essay and very good vocabulary.

  77. Khale says:

    Your essay is very well written. I like how you put the different perspectives of the question because they really make people think and can sometimes change their opinions. I also like the explinations and the examples that you give to each question. Bravo????????????????????????

  78. Sharifah Najihah says:

    Nice essay Abraham…Keep it up

  79. Efraim Josua says:

    Satisfying abraham, well done

  80. Tia says:

    Very profound! I think from a grammatical point of view, it would be nice to take a bit more care as sometimes it may discourage the reader from reading on. Great points on the matter, though!! Really impressive :))

  81. Rifqi Taufiqurrohman says:

    excellent, essay you made a very nice and good quality.

  82. Tierra Fuller says:

    Your essay was truly amazing. I enjoyed your philosooveiw on the subject. There were a few grammatical errors by other than that I thouroughly enjoyed it. The essay really got me thinking.

  83. Ana Luísa says:

    EXACTLY! That’s awesome. We should and need to have different thoughts and opinions, we shouldn’t choose between black or white, we have to think about and make our own shade of grey. I loved your essay, it made me think about life and my choices. Thank you.

  84. Barbara Condado says:

    Just perfect! Also very inspiring 😀

  85. Gargee says:

    Very impressive!!

  86. Ria Tyagi says:

    Amazing!!!
    heads off 🙂

  87. ANIKET Bhagat says:

    Excellent .Amazingly written✌

  88. Saúl cambindo says:

    Hola Abraham, muy interesante este proyecto ponle fé que el universo te dará la sabiduría suficiente para dar respuesta y solución a los problemas que se presenten, éxitos y buena vibra.Dios te bendiga.

  89. Maria says:

    Great job Abraham!! A very inspiring essay. It made me see things from a different perspective and also realize how much influence does education have in our lives

  90. Ainul says:

    Wow! This is well-written and wayyyy better than many of the essays I’ve read before (including some of my earlier ones hahaha).

    I totally agree with your grey view. We are always learning to live, like how many of us go to school to aim and achieve a better life. At the same time, we live to learn by keeping up with the news, whether about issues around the world or just our favourite idols. Both learning and living co-exist as vital parts of our lives; it is impossible to separate the two from us.

  91. Aditi Singh says:

    well written Abraham…….it really encouraged me to think upon this topic…great views ..good job

  92. Shaniyah says:

    Very good topic and excellent conclusion. Overall a good essay

  93. Kratya Goel says:

    Excellent views of urs. U r promoting the thinking of ppl and providing good knowledge..I also think that we shud think from all angles rather than yes or no as it gives u a succeeding decision..Well done,keep on doing that

  94. Doan says:

    This essay is done well

  95. monicaliaa says:

    This is a great essay. You’re really good at choosing words. Bravo ????

  96. Nury Berrio says:

    Muy buen ensayo Aby tus ideas y pensamientos expresados en el escrito reflejan la gran persona que eres y destacas la importancia del aprendizaje y el conocimiento. Felicitaciones

  97. Dani says:

    Abraham
    What do you decide?
    I decide Live to learn
    IS A EXCELENT ESSAY

  98. Francesca Rosso says:

    I totally agree when you say that a man with knowledge and ideals is a powerful weapon. Great essay!

  99. jairo alarcon says:

    Abraham , excelente paper, felicitaciones, serás un gran Neurocirujano si ese es tu propósito superior ! sigue tu sueños y lo lograras, tienes las capacidades para serlo.

  100. Cristina Roselli says:

    Great essay!!

  101. Aryan Goel says:

    The sa was very intresting and well written
    ur promoting and encouraging the people to think on this topic

  102. Ivan Rivera says:

    Quite a pleasant topic, something to get you thinking. Exercising your knowledge and pairing that with a good vocabulary is quite noteworthy, good job.

  103. filbert says:

    Nice essay,great ideas actually I gain a lot and widen my mind.Really impressive and it goes very deep and touches many corners of our lives.Great job!!

  104. Sebabatso Madibu says:

    Great eye opener????

  105. Vane says:

    Wow!!! It is very good topic. In my point of view very good introduction and conclusion. Hope more young people think as you.
    Congratulations!

  106. Vane says:

    Wow!!! It is very good topic. In my point of view very good introduction and conclusion. Hope more young people think as you.
    Congratulations!

  107. milena villegas says:

    Excelente escrito

  108. Ann Umana says:

    Nice essay @Abraham Villegas…… Keep it up

  109. Jackie Rodriguez says:

    Abraham,
    The essay was amazing. Besides some grammatical answers, it was written very well. There was a lot of passion and complex thoughts here. Thank you for that, not many individuals are brave enough to write about this. Very well written, and I hope you continue writing about these topics. The world needs to read them to see this viewpoint, because in reality, this is the honest truth.

  110. Angelica Restrepo says:

    Great job …

  111. Zahra Nurina says:

    It is well-written and very inspiring! It opened my mind to a whole new aspect on the question and I highly agree with your essay, although I think I would still choose “learn to live”, because even the small things you do until this day such as reading, eating, speaking in your first language, and many more are helping you to live too. Godspeed to you, Abraham. Keep inspire us. ????????

  112. Zahra says:

    It is well-written and very inspiring! It opened my mind to a whole new aspect on the question and I highly agree with your essay, although I think I would still choose “learn to live”, because even the small things you do until this day such as reading, eating, speaking in your first language, and many more are helping you to live too. Godspeed to you, Abraham. Keep inspire us. ????????

  113. Jarin Raisa says:

    I read your essay. It seems you are in the right track. It has written so rationally to convince the reader to be agreed. So no doubt , I agree with your point.

  114. Basna Hakkim says:

    Very good essay. When read this it’s like you are sharing your feelings. Keep it up ????????

  115. Ramisa says:

    Awesome. …great thinking. .

  116. Sarah says:

    Very good job Abraham ! and I think that in this case both are right; we learn to live and also live to learn.

  117. mu'azin basiron says:

    You do well pal… i hope u can stay became a great human

  118. Hola.
    Este es un tema complejo el cual está íntimamente ligado a lo político, a lo social, incluso a lo religioso y muchas veces estas miradas abandonan el propósito central, construir procesos de aprendizaje. El hecho de abordarlo desde una mirada crítica, donde los pensamientos anidados en tu ser afloran de manera libre, es un aporte importante a convocar a la mesa esta conversa.
    Felicitaciones . Algún día nos encontraremos y conversaremos de este tema,
    Abraham Villegas

  119. Kelly Wagner says:

    Your essay was very good and very thought provoking. I really enjoyed reading it.

  120. Daniela Stelea says:

    Hi Abraham. That was very good. We need more thinking people like you. True knowledge brings freedom. That is way many nations do not want their people to think because they are not easy to manipulate. Abraham continue your good work. Gobless you.

  121. Juan de Dios Villegas says:

    Abraham, this is YouTube father. I’m so grateful you’re my son. This essay show us your brightmess mind. I think it is special statement because you tale a grey zone not a ecléctic refuge of mindness but as a inclusivly position from your visión of the life, but without that means you don’t have the strong character of the great Men.
    Congratulations.
    With all my heart

  122. Haley says:

    Nice essay ! I love the points you made!!

  123. Oye… Tu ensayo es increíble… Me gustó mucho… Es muy profundo… Muy realista… Es muy bueno…
    Felicidades!!!????

  124. Ma. Del Pilar Caicedo says:

    Exellent informe. I like.

  125. Souha says:

    Nice essay .. keep it up

  126. Kendra says:

    Great essay changed my way of thinking.

  127. Indira says:

    it’s awesome, how yoh use black or white theory to explain your opinion and everything that you want to share with everyone. I hope you could give more example each of people who “live to learn” and people “learn to live” in your essay. but i think this is so good awesome! Nice Job!

  128. yousaf says:

    Very good

  129. Tabarak says:

    It amazing you wrote that by yourself ????????

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