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Do we ever reach an age where we should stop growing? Obviously, I’m not referring to physical growth. No matter what age I reach, I firmly believe that there are areas for learning that remain.

Let’s think of an example. My son took it upon himself to learn American Sign Language and has gotten quite adept at it. As soon as I saw the reasons to learn this language, I embarked on a path to learn it. Admittedly, I’m not sure of many of the letters although I took an online course. But I do remember some of the more important words and use them occasionally in the classroom.

Traveling represents growth to me. It’s difficult to imagine that I’ll ever become tired of seeing unfamiliar places. To date, I have visited 47 of our 50 states and seriously intend to see the remaining three. I’ve been to three continents and aspire to visiting the rest.

But visiting isn’t the growth component. With my years of studying history, I find it imperative to familiarize myself with the history and culture of places visited. Somehow, being a passive and uninvolved spectator is not an option for me.

Probably the best source of personal growth is reading. Most weeks I am able to complete one or two books, primarily due to a commitment to do so. The young people whom I aspire to influence are always aware of my reading and often make obvious attempts to emulate my reading habits.

Intellectual curiosity is the prerequisite to growth and I hope with all my heart that I never lose the desire to be better and learn more. The best example of change is my ongoing effort toward self-improvement, in the classroom, at home or simply interacting in the world. Just in case it needs to be said, this desire is based not on an unhappiness with who I am but solely on the desire to grow. Shalom.

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