Become a Student of Life:Never Stop Learning
Posted by Pamela S. on Friday, July 6th, 2012
School may be out for most students, but we should never stop learning. I usually write about news stories on Fridays. Keeping up with the news is one way to continue learning. Whether you read newspapers, catch up online, or watch CNN or other news programming, it will open your mind. A private investigator should be a kind of Renaissance man or woman.
We can’t all be a polymath like Benjamin Franklin, the brilliant author, printer, politician, political theorist, postmaster, musician, scientist, inventor, satirist, statesman, civic activist, and diplomat. A polymath or Renaissance man or woman is someone who excels in a substantial number of fields or subjects. That doesn’t mean that we can’t strive to become more educated. Whether you are a student at a community college like the College of Marin in California, a Harvard-educated graduate prepping for your GED online, or voluntouring in a developing country, you are still learning.
I try to learn something new every day. I just learned that word “polymath” when I was writing a post about the signers of the Declaration of Independence. I’ve learned a lot from writing this blog. You can, too. You can write a personal blog and research subjects to write about. It doesn’t have to be about the law or private investigation.
There is a quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So is a lot.” Einstein was paraphrasing or “borrowing” this expression from the works of Alexander Pope and Francis Bacon. I only know this because I looked it up on the Internet, which I consider to be one exceptionally large and almost free university, if you deduct the cost of connecting online.
We all can’t be geniuses like Einstein or experts at everything. What Einstein, Pope and Bacon were saying was that just because you know a bit about a topic doesn’t make you an expert.
Einstein also said, “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
How does all of this help you to become a better investigator? You never know where an investigation will take you. Research is the backbone of our industry. If you know how to learn and conduct proper research, you are ahead of the game. Let’s take learning a new language as an example. A 2010 survey conducted by the American Community Survey, a part of the census program, showed about 37 million people over the age of 5 spoke Spanish in the United States. Learning Spanish can only be a benefit to your career.
In my posts, I’ve pointed out various Internet sites that offer valuable tips and tools for investigators. Spend a few hours a week on the Internet and you can learn how to become a better investigator. Take a writing course at night school and it will improve your report writing. Or read The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White. First published in 1918, this style guide is still considered a “must-have” for anyone who wants to improve their writing skills. If you don’t want to buy the book, visit your local library. If you haven’t been to a library in a long time, you might be surprised at what you can learn.
Former FBI Assistant Director Tom Sheer has recruited the best from the FBI, DEA, IRS and Secret Service to build a formidable team at Sheer Investigations. Our private investigators have the sensitivity and experience to handle the most delicate investigations.