“Isn’t it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive–it’s such an interesting world. It wouldn’t be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it? There’d be no scope for imagination then, would there?”
L.L. Montgomery ~ Anne of Green Gables
I am a bit of an information addict. (Can you tell?) I just love to research various topics. I love the process, the adventure. What things I cannot find I dream about, imagine. I guess I’m what you would call one of those “life long learners”, and the world is my university. Sometimes I think it would be neat if I had been born in another time. But, good heavens!, what would I have done?
It is a remarkable age that we live in – so much, maybe sometimes too much, information is readily available. Books are so easily obtainable today with book stores everywhere, public libraries, and ebay. In my little town, only a mere 100 years ago or so, a lending library was built as a resource to share what books were available to the community. In fact a father had it built for his two daughters. Nice gift. Their happy faces are forever mounted in the stained glass windows behind the information desk. The famous philantrophist Andrew Carnegie, must have been an information addict too, as he provided for about 2500 libraries in his lifetime.
Then there is the internet. I’m so glad Al Gore invented it! Everything is right at my fingertips. I can find a phone number, driving directions, shopping, dictionary, news, Bible, online books, encyclopedia, articles, images, and anything at all I am interested in learning about. You should see my bookmarks. Perhaps someday you will as I’m working on my list at del.icio.us. In all humility, I must confess that I have also become quite internet savvy. I’m a whiz at navigation the net. I’m wise as a serpant and harmless as a dove. One thing I’ve learned is that just because something is published online does not make it true. So I try to check my resources for authenticity and accuracy. Another thing, I do get to choose what kind of information I put into my pretty little head. What “the world” tries to serve me I don’t necessarily have to partake. I try to filter it through my Biblical World View. Being an information addict requires discernment.
I also enjoy talking to knowlegable people first hand. It’s amazing the wealth of information you can find in someone else’s brain. Usually people are eager to share it too. I love talking to the president of my town’s historical society. She knows everything about our town’s history, but so much more about the way people lived. She also shares the national heritage of my husband and sons so she is an excellent resource for genealogical and cultural information for our family. She’s also a nice lady. But it’s not just knowlege about things we can glean from others. It’s their perspective. A vantage point on life and issues that we may not have otherwise considered. But even here discernment is important.
My husband was working in an old house and came across a book he brought home for me. The 1944 edition of B. Frank Scholl’s Library of Health. Just inside the cover it states that “Over a million copies of this library have already been distributed and are in use in more than a million of our homes.” Only 63 years ago people prided themselves in the wealth of this medical knowlege. But now it is quite humorous to read through. Information can indeed get outdated (to be expounded on further in my Dappled Things blog), yet there are always certain truths that remain. I want to find them.
A former pastor of mine once said my mind was like an encyclopedia. My husband just says it’s scary in there. Whatever it is, I enjoy it! And there’s always room to learn more. My trouble, frustration, is that it is not always easy for me to recall the information that I have learned. I never tested well in school, but did excellent on reports. It always took me the long way around to pull all that information together in written form. Yet, in the end was success. And now you know why I like to write. That’s my ADD. Perhaps that is why I am so “addicted” to information. I am perpetually trying to learn – to get the knowlege and retain it. But more than that, apply it. But because I often forget the information that I already received, I am always looking up things again and also on ecursions for new information. To get knowledge, to get understanding. But we all know what King Solomon had to say about it all, “he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow!” (Ecc. 1:18). Yes, it is true. Long ago mankind chose to go for the knowledge of good and evil as opposed to life eternal life. To put my passion for knowlege in perspective, I choose eternal life over knowledge any day. I’m glad my Savior gave me that opportunity. In fact, learning about Him is my favorite topic.
I research for my writing, for my work, but also just for fun. Here is a list of things I researched in 2006:
Rocks & Minerals
How to Write
How to Submit Writing
How to Sell on eBay
Hebraic Roots of Christianity
Bride of Christ
New Covenant of Christ
Divorce & Remarriage
Women & ADHD
People of Various Sizes: World’s tallest, smallest, dwarfism, giantism, Pygmies
Victorian Finishing Schools
Fashion Plate History
Castles of Scotland and England
“For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.”