I’m Olena and this blog is a personal project that’s all about making, learning, keeping informed, and being inspired (because there are soooooo many wicked awesome people and projects all over the world that we can all learn from!).
I’ve always struggled trying to corral my diverse interests into a semblance of cohesion. I mean, how can you? There are just so many areas to explore and so much fun to be had in trying new projects, skills, and ideas. Until one day, I realized that I don’t need to limit my interests, only to organize them.
Pansophic is an adjective stemming from “pansophia”, which in Classical Greek literally means “all wisdom”. More loosely, it refers to an ancient idea of teaching everything to everyone irrespective of social or economic position, race or nationality. How’s that for universal education?!
I’m no know-it-all, but I do love learning new things and finding connections to something seemingly unrelated. Those eureka! moments are magical and by sharing some of what I’ve learned, I hope to play a little part in sparking your own small discoveries. Plus it’s also really cool to be the person who really can do just about anything, or at least knows enough about it to know what to Google. Bake a cake? Check. Change a flat tire? Check. Plan an amazing trip? Bring it on! Care to buy a house? Plant a garden? Tie a tie (a quickly disappearing skill!)? Yes, yes, and yes. You can do all that (and do it well!), and then some. All you need are some resources and the willingness to try.
Why pansophy matters:
If you’ve ever watched Rick Mercer’s “Talking to Americans”, you are aware of how much smart people don’t know. And I don’t mean advanced calculus. General awareness of the world, basic understanding of how things work, the ability to assess and question information instead of taking it at face value…The focus of the developed world in on specialization but I believe in the crucial importance of a wide general knowledge base. Until our education system catches up, it is up to us to fill in the gaps and make ourselves truly pansophic. Why bother?
- There are a lot of things we don’t learn in school;
- There is a greater recognition and appreciation of generalists in modern entrepreneurial environments (and let’s face it, that’s where all the fun jobs are!);
- Learning keeps the brain alive;
- Wider awareness allows us to make connections and fosters creative problem solving (very important for tackling global problems of sustainability and development, not to mention avoiding the doomsday scenario);
- Realizing how much you don’t know and can learn from others is humbling and crucial for personal growth, true international cooperation, and mutual understanding;
- Increased adaptability;
- Just about any activity has inherent skills that can be applied creatively to other areas of our life;
- The more you learn, the more you can learn.
Also, did I mention that people are increasingly more impressed when you can also tie a tie and bake a mean cake? The small stuff really matters. Now, what will you try next?
About the Author
I’m Olena. To say that I have a number of interests would be a bit of an understatement. I also suffer from a rather active brain, a (not-so-)secret creative side and that millennial desire to do something more with my life and make the world a better place, even if just a little bit. Like many others, I have way too much education under my belt, a mostly unrelated practical job that I’m very good at, and too little time to do everything I want. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This blog is my way of documenting my adventures in learning more, doing more, and, hopefully, inspiring others to find ways to live a more fulfilling life on their own terms. We can’t do it all (and who wants to, anyway; it’s exhausting!) but we can do an awful lot more than we give ourselves credit for. I’m certainly excited to try!
Having basked in the joys of anonymity and ethnic cuisine in Toronto for many years (after originally moving there from Eastern Europe), I now call a small and incredibly scenic Rocky Mountains town home, where my creative pursuits have kicked into overdrive.
Happy reading and I look forward to bumping into you out there in the big wide world 🙂