Success is the reward of lifelong learning

By Sen Phoi Thich. Sen, 26, lives in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. She studies at the Hung Vuong University. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

In the past, most people believed that the illiterate were those who barely knew a word. Is it still true in the 21st century? Personally, I think the concept of illiterate has been changed. In today’s society, education is open to almost everyone. However, read and write are not the problem of being illiterate, it is lifelong learning. When the world around is going fast with technology and competition, being unable to keep on learning everyday is considered as illiterate.

Before the era of Internet and the booming of online community, women were tight in the house. Their roles were to take care of the children and cooking meals for husbands. Later on, with the revolution, women are able to have an education, and they are able to have jobs and to hold important positions. They keep themselves up-to-date with new knowledge and technology. Although Internet seems like an alien thing to them – those tender mothers, tactful wives and dedicated employees, they spend time to learn. It is because they want to know their children, who happen to be computer savvy. It is because they want to catch up with the race in their workplace where seniority and experience alone could not make up for the lack of competency in new technology.

Once, I had a chance to talk to a successful CEO of a community site for ladies. It is where to-be mothers, already-be mothers and single ladies come to share their experience of work, life and family care. Besides sharing, women can go there for online shopping, for entertainment, and be the dominant of Internet world. How could a non-tech savvy mom become so successful with her site? Unless she spent time to get to know the technology with the dedicated guidance of her husband, she would not be a respectful and powerful woman of today. There have been times of stress and tiredness because she had to juggle with her duties of being a wife, a mother and a manager. It was the hard time when frustration and hopelessness were your constant-visited friends, yet with perseverance and resolution, she kept on going with learning and relearning. According to her, the world only can see your triumph, but you are the one who knows how hard and how much effort it takes you, a woman, to be recognized and noticed for your contribution to the community and society. Talking with one of those talented women like her, I can feel the charm of their feminine aspect and the courage to seize the chances which Internet brings along.

However, there are still some young people of the upper-middle and the upper class who have the most advantage to access the latest technology. The strong background of their family can bring them anything ranging from the luxurious life to high quality education, but not necessarily an ethical attitude and a tactful mind which knows how to love others. Eventually, they fall for those raving parties, endless entertainment activities, and foolish competition showing how rich they are. They have the finest opportunity to gain exposure to school and books, yet they hardly take this chance seriously.

In my country, teenagers of the nouveau riche are nurtured in the wrong way – get what they want without effort, so they gradually become heartless and brutally violent – insulting friends, becoming a school bully, being a victim of addictive medicine. Somehow, they turn their back on others, they refuse the opportunity to learn from teachers at school and the old generation, and they care for nothing but the satisfaction of their foolish self-esteem, of which they truly lack. Finally, how the society could be, if the young generations continue to be in this harmful way. The solution still cannot be found up to now. As a result, there are countless youngsters becoming teen criminals.

Nowadays, knowledge is at our finger tips. One mouse click, a pool of information is shown on your computer screen. Internet demolishes the gap of geographical and generation distance. The primary matter here is whether you are willing to spend time for your lifelong learning process because even a prophet or an expert still has to learn in every single minute.

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