- George Carlin
I couldn't agree more.
For as long as I can remember, I've always been a heavy reader. I'd read novels, I'd read magazines, I'd read articles on everything under the sun on the Internet. Why do I do it? Because I enjoy it, but also because I like to learn new things. I am not one of these kind of people who is perfectly content to do the same old stuff every day for the rest of your life. I'm always trying new things. I read about new programming languages. I read about new operating systems. I try new operating systems. (Hell, I tried OS X as an experiment, and now it's the only OS I use at home!). I studied how to play guitar. I'm studying how to play the piano. I'm studying the Spanish language trying to learn to become bilingual. Will I ever be a master guitarist or pianist? Probably not. Will I ever become fluent in Spanish? Maybe. Maybe Not. It's the effort that I enjoy. I love looking at musical notation and understanding what all those little lines, dots and squiggles mean. I love listening to people speaking in Spanish and actually understanding some of what they are saying.
I've long believed that you need to exercise your mind just as much as you need to exercise your muscles. If you don't exercise your muscles, they get weaker until they eventually atrophy and die. The same goes for your mind. If you don't exercise your mind, your mind gets weaker and eventually atrophies (Alzheimer's). This is especially true as you get older. I think this one one reason many old people develop Alzheimer's. They retire, and stop working. This means, they stop using their minds. Their minds atrophy and eventually it reaches the point of no return. I'm sure you've heard the stories of people in their 90s who still work and are still as sharp, mentally as ever. My father is 74, he still works, and he is a very intelligent guy. I intend to be another one of those 'annoying' old people who is still sharp as a tack in his old age. I don't intend to let my brain wither.