09 December 2016

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: It’s never too late

Dear Friends,

This Sunday we discussing: It's never too late.

Is there a difference between our topic, "it's never too late" and
"don't give up"? We usually use "it's never too late" when there is some
time restraint, some expiry period; e.g. in the case of a serious
disease, to start a new venture at advanced age, change of career, or
similar cases. "Not giving up" suggests not wanting to take further
risks, but our topic implies that we are incapable or don't have the
skills to accomplish an object.

Of course, whether we take risks or embark on a project does not mean
we're going to succeed or that we reduce our chances of failure. But
just because we can fail it does not mean we cannot succeed. It's a
matter of knowing what to do with the factors we have control and then
try to compensate for those factors we have no control over. In other
words there are conditions for success that are required, necessary
conditions, and other conditions that if we met these conditions we'd
succeed, sufficient conditions. But is life such a duality of conditions?

Are there other conditions that are beyond our control? It seems that
once we know what it takes and how to do what it takes, leaves us with
the pitting our skills against those conditions that are really beyond
our control: government policy, matters that we need to choose,
accidents, change of direction etc.

There are many everyday situations when we can apply our topic "it's
never too late." One of those is, of course, learning a language at
older age; this is one issue I am familiar with as you know. There is
this belief that older people cannot learn a second language. But this
belief rests on two myths. Some people believe that speaking another
language means speaking like a native speaker. Speaking another language
is a different proposition from what native speakers speak. To being
with, native speakers have a cultural understanding of their language
which is not necessary to speak another language.

The other myth is that older people do not have the mental skills to
learn a second language; younger people learn a language much quicker.
Yes, younger people do learn much quicker than older people in many
things, but that's probably because that's the first time they are
learning that particular skill and have limited experience of life. We,
older adults, do have experience of life which means two things: we have
zero tolerance to nonsense and we have done many things in our life; so
it's a question of do we want one more thing to do.

But the biggest myth is mistaking something being hard and difficult
from something being impossible or not having the skill. Learning a
second language is hard at the best of times; and, of course, finding
the best method for us to learn a language (or anything else) is part of
the problem. And the best method to learn something starts with one of
the conditions: need, interest, or usefulness.

The final question is whether there indeed are objectives, desires or
wishes that are too late to embark upon.

Best Lawrence

tel: 606081813
philomadrid@gmail.com <mailto:philomadrid@gmail.com>
Blog: http://philomadrid.blogspot.com.es/
PhiloMadrid Meeting
Meet 6:30pm
Centro Segoviano
Alburquerque, 14
28010 Madrid
Metro: Bilbao
Open Tertulia in English every
Thursdays at Triskel in c/San Vicente Ferrer 3.
Time: from 19:30 to 21h

from Lawrence, SUNDAY PhiloMadrid meeting at 6:30pm: It's never too late

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