Concrete Pillars

How Can Self-Education Fascinate You?

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Peacocks tend to fascinate us, don’t they? That immense tail with its iridescent colors holds us spellbound, and scientists are learning that the peacock maximizes his tail in ways many of us never knew.

We know that a peacock fans its tail to attract a peahen so they can raise peachicks, but I recently learned more about his stunning display. I learned that the peacock can quiver those fascinating feathers, sending a low-frequency sound to the peahens. The sound is inaudible to humans, but not to peahens. More amazingly, the cock shakes one part of his feathers to catch the attention of nearby peahens, different feathers for the benefit of peahens at a greater distance.

You know how peacocks can fascinate you – but now consider this question. 

How can self-education fascinate you? 

What Is Self-education? 

I define self-education as a very personal activity by which you teach yourself in your own way, reading books and using your natural bump of curiosity to investigate as you wish. You never sign up for a formal class. You never pay tuition or class fees. You never have to interact with a teacher or other students – unless you choose to do so.

With self-education, you can teach yourself without worrying about anything other than learning about something that interests you.

Raising ChinchillasMaybe you want to fatten your bank account. You love animals – all kinds of animals, or at least animals that we call pets. You decide to self-educate yourself on the business of raising chinchillas for fun and profit. Maybe you’ll learn how to raise pet rabbits, or a specific dog or cat breed. You might decide to buy, repair, and flip cars or houses – and you use self-education to learn the ropes.

Raise a Brighter ChildIf you have children in the home, you might indulge your desire to raise a brighter child. You don’t want to enroll him or her in extra school classes or other academic study that would cut down on your time with the child. You may not be a professional teacher, but self-education can help increase youngsters’ intelligence at home – even in your own backyard on a sunny day.

If you’re reading this post during the 2019-2020 pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) or some similar emergency situation, you know that quarantine can make home life very difficult and boring for adults and children alike.

Imagine how that could change, however, if you were to take home quarantine / social distancing days as an opportunity to engage in self-education. Imagine what a fascinating difference self-education would make for you!

You could go about it in one of these two broad methods.

1) You could determine a calculated purpose for educating yourself in a specific subject and enroll in an online course.

2) You could choose a more relaxed approach and use self-education to pursue bits of information with no planned aim other than enjoyment.

Let me illustrate with my peacock study.

I did not sit down and calculate a plan to self-educate in biology. I did not break down that plan to include only a study of birds. I did not choose specifically to study peacocks. What happened?

I was searching a free photo website for photos to use on this blog. I stumbled across the beautiful peacock photo at the top of this post, and in a moment of curiosity, I gave myself a mini self-education course in peacock tail display.

Some would not call that self-education, but it qualifies as such.

How can self-education fascinate you? 

Self-education can fascinate you by taking your mind off rut-type living, or by easing an otherwise trying situation as you focus on a subject of great interest to you. The very process can captivate you so much, that you may lose track of time!

Self-education fascinates us so much, that we actually live self-education every day as we travel through this world. Men and women have always lived self-education! Imagine how man’s self-education in building fires fascinated him. Think of how self-education regarding birds’ flight fascinated those who built the first aircraft.

Consider Thomas Edison. He attended school for a few years, but left as a 12-year-old boy. From then on, self-education fascinated him into a life of inventing. By the time he died at age 84, Edison had patented over 1,000 of the results of educating himself.

Edward Hood wrote this about self-education.

“Our whole life is an Education — we are ‘ever-learning,’ every moment of time, everywhere, under all circumstances something is being added to the stock of our previous attainments. Mind is always at work when once its operations commence. All men are learners, whatever their occupation, in the palace, in the cottage, in the park, and in the field.”

~ Edward Paxton Hood, Self-Education: Twelve Chapters for Young Thinkers, 1852 


How can self-education fascinate you? We’ve looked at a variety of ways, but don’t take my word for it. Try it and you will know! Think of a skill or bit of knowledge that might help you solve a current problem. Now think of what self-education might do to help you solve the problem. Let me know about your successes!