An Ode to Learning

Lifelong learning is a path that must not be taken lightly.

Gonzalo Vázquez

It is a journey that has the power to shape you; to redefine who you are and your environment. Learning is the foundation for long-lasting legacy building. I have always been an advocate of lifelong learning and its power to transform. Every now and then I ask myself this question:

What if, when I die, I meet myself as the version of who I could have been? What if that person is infinitely better than how I came to be? It is a scary thought but one that keeps me motivated to push my mind and body to become the best version I can be.

I’ll be the first one to say that I wasn’t born with a lifelong learning predisposition. Rather, I was shaped by my upbringing to always value constant learning. At the heart of it all is my mum. A woman who came to Canada 11 years ago, with no academic credentials able to transfer to the Canadian educational system. Armed with determination and an endless curiosity, she begun her studies in Canada by taking English as a Second Language classes. I’m proud to say that she has just earned her Doctorate in Social Sciences. It was her determination, her willpower to pursue higher learning not for financial gain but for the sheer pleasure of learning. She has been my North Star for pursuing the non pursuable.

Royal Roads Doctorate Graduating Class of 2019

On June 2019, my brother and I had the chance to accompany my mum to her Convocation. She graduated from Royal Roads University; a university in British Columbia with a castle as an educational building. The castle, Hatley Castle, was made popular worldwide as the home for the mutants in the X-Men films.

Hatley Castle

Apart from the famous castle, the campus itself is something out of a movie. It strikes a perfect balance between man and nature. You can walk through the endless gardens of the property, or lose yourself staring at the ocean overlooking the Olympic Mountains. Royal Roads is a place designed to achieve a sort of “learning nirvana.”

Royal Roads Campus

During Convocation, my brother and I witnessed the result of a lifelong quest for education. As graduates walked across the stage to receive their accolades you could see one chapter of their lives closing and another opening. After the ceremony, we spent a couple days sightseeing beautiful Victoria. It felt like the perfect ending to a new adventure full of learning opportunities.

Vancouver
Downtown Vancouver
Gonzalo Vázquez

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