I can't imagine not being a life-long learner. Who doesn't learn new things? I don't know how someone could be successful in his/her job or personal life without continuing to learn. To me, it seems to be part of the human condition. I think we're hard-wired to continue learning. We are constantly taking in new information - trying to fit it with what we already know or changing our thinking based on the new information. (Most people do more of the former and less of the latter.)
I think about people I know well and consider if they are life-long learners. Who is isn't a life-long learner? Even my 84 year-old grandparents are continuing to learn things. They have satellite TV and debit cards, negotiate social security and medicare, deal with new health issues from a host of medical professionals, and navigate through a growing city for visits with those medical professionals. The scope of what they are learning may not be as broad as my own, but they are learning. Much of what they are learning isn't so much by choice. Perhaps that's the qualitative difference... how much of the learning is by choice and how much is simply for survival.
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