Something New

I read in one of Leo Buscaglia’s books that when he was small, his father would always ask him and his siblings “What new thing did you learn today?” every night before they leave the dinner table.

Buscaglia wrote that before dinner starts, he and his sisters would dash to the encyclopedia and flip to something like “The population of Iran is one million.” They would sit down to dinner and by the time their Papa asks, they can recite “The population of Iran is ….” And their father would turn to their mother and say “Rosa, did you know that?” And she would reply an impressed “No.” The kids then thought their parents were crazy.

In his adult years, Buscaglia admits “But I’ll tell you a secret. Even now, going to bed at night, as exhausted as I often am, I still lie back and say to myself ‘Felice, old boy, what did you learn new today?’ And if I can’t think of anything, I’ve got to get a book and flip to something before I can get to sleep.”

Now isn’t that a nice story? After I read about that, I try to emulate Buscaglia’s secret to learning and ask myself what new thing I learned for the day as much as possible. Being the forgetful person that I am, I miss sometimes. But I’m determined to put this into practice even with my kids.

To make it easier, we watch the National Geographic channel at least an hour a day and we have learned so much already! Did you know that the tallest building in the world is no longer the Petronas Towers but Taipei 101? Or that the black mamba snake is called such, not because its scales are black but the inside of its mouth is?

How about you? What did you learn new today?
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