Okay, let’s start with a disclaimer. I am not a medical expert but last week I bumped into a TED Talk that buttressed why living a life of adventure, curiosity and constant improvement should be a must for everyone.
The TED talk, What You Can Do To Prevent Alzheimer’s by neuroscientist and author, Lisa Genova broken down in a nutshell was about how humans can take advantage of a concept called neuroplasticity –which in layman’s language means, the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections all through an individuals life–to prevent the effects of Alzheimer’s Diesease, the most common neurodegenerative disorder today.
Now as a man of the cloth, what the Bible has to say of Alzheimer’s is even more definitive but the import of this post today is that by learning new thing, visiting new places and attempting to live adventurously, we create new neural pathways thus engaging neuroplasticity.
Something, I found priming about that TED Talk was the fact that even though certain synapses–the junctions between a person’s nerve cells, consisting of a minute gap across which impulses pass by diffusion of a neurotransmitter–had been lost due to age, people who spent their lives constantly learning and taking on new challenges just kept regenerating new synapses and showed no symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
In a sense, I think that pushing the frontiers of our knowledge and creativity was why God’s first words to man were, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, dominate the earth’.
In the end, I think we should all aspire to learn new things as often as possible; always creating new neural pathways whether it is in a new language, taking golf lessons or cooking for the very fact that nature abhors vacuum.
In the words of an American educator, Reed B. Markham:
If you are standing still, you are also moving backwards. It takes great effort to maintain forward movement
Learning is maitaining forward movement. Learn something new today!