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2016-01-28

To Follow Knowledge - Gayle Adlam

TO FOLLOW KNOWLEDGE

One of my favourite poems is written by Lord Alfred Tennyson, in the form of monologue by Ulysses, a hero in ancient Greek literature. In this famous poem, Ulysses states that his driving ambition is to leave his wife and kingdom and allow his son to take over as king, in order:
“To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.”also
The selfish intent of Ulysses in choosing to leave his family so that he may follow his own interests to acquire knowledge and new experiences may be debated. However, daily we face new expectations, new situations and ever changing technological advances. These all compel us to perform better or at least differently. Standing still is not an option if we are to grow in our careers or face new challenges in our daily lives. If we don’t take the time to learn new skills or acquire new knowledge, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment or perhaps failure.
Even just facing the implications of growing older – as Ulysses expresses – “Old age hath yet his honour and his toil”, requires new mindsets.
The words, “Come, my friends, ‘It is not too late to seek a newer world”, challenge us to look at where we are in our lives and consider what we would like to be different.
By taking the time to expand our knowledge and skill base and open ourselves up to new experiences, we may achieve new goals. Limiting ourselves through not taking up on opportunities to acquire new skills will only stop us from achieving personal growth and possible career advancement.
We need, as Ulysses concludes and which is also quoted in the James Bond movie Skyfall; “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield”.
See http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174659 for the full poem.

Gayle Adlam
www.bafundise.co.za

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