Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lifelong Learning Thursday

Nancy Merz Nordstrom, author of Learning Later, Living Greater: The Secret of Making the Most of Your After 50 Years will share the benefits of Lifelong Learning on Thursdays.

The Secret for Making the Most of Your After-50 Years.

Lifelong Learning in Your Later Years… 
A Health Club for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit!

By now I’m sure you’re wondering…are we exploring “Lifelong Learning?” - or “Later-Life Learning?” - or ”Learning Later?” Well, take your pick. Call it what you like. These terms all mean the same thing, and we’ll use them interchangeably in these blogs. There. Now that we’ve got that straight…

Let’s demystify this topic by taking a closer look at this thing known as lifelong learning.

Actually, learning in our “After-50 Years” isn’t really a “thing” at all. It’s more of a belief–a philosophy–that espouses one simple fact: Learning later keeps our minds, bodies and spirits active through challenging interaction with peers and experts in all fields of interest. Distilled even further, it’s an opportunity to make our own unique contribution to society, to meet new people and explore new ideas.

Lifelong learning does, however, mean different things to different people. As unique and individual as we all are, learning later gives us methods for enhancing that individuality even further. Later-life learners embark on their adventures in many different ways:

• One person might explore later-life learning as a way of keeping their social roster active during their post-work years.
• Another may relish the chance to study obscure topics that they never had time for while working, in either a classroom or on the Internet.
• Others may find educational travel to be the only way to travel.
• Then there are those who might thrive on societal challenges, such as turning a reluctant student into a willing learner.

While each of these people will define lifelong learning differently, they will all be right. What they do have in common, however, is the fact that learning later enables them to expand their intellectual, social, spiritual, and physical horizons far beyond any previous expectations.

The “Hat Trick” of Learning, Exploring, and Serving, coupled with the benefits for our Minds, Bodies and Spirits, is the hallmark of excellence that makes this philosophy so attractive to individuals and society as a whole.

Whoever said retirement meant going quietly into the good night?

Adlai E. Stevenson Jr. said, “If we value the pursuit of knowledge, we must be free to follow wherever that search may lead us. The free mind is not a barking dog, to be tethered on a ten-foot chain.” Our exploration of lifelong learning can lead us in new directions. You just never know what’s behind that new door. Opening that door, however, actually having the courage to turn that door knob, is the key to our next great adventure.

For more information on Learning Later, Living Greater visit

You can purchase Learning Later, Living Greater at

Till Next Time…

Nancy Merz Nordstrom is Director of the Lifelong Learning Department at Computer School for Seniors (

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