Give Gifts Top Banner

Home » Issues » Education for Life » 101 Ways To Get Educated

Get a FREE Issue. Yes! I want to try YES! Magazine

Nonprofit. Independent. Subscriber-supported. DONATE. How you can support our work.

YES! by Email
Join over 78,000 others already signed up for FREE YES! news.

The YES! ChicoBag(R). Full-size tote that fits in your pocket!


101 Ways To Get Educated

Document Actions

-Grow enough grain for one loaf of bread -- and make and eat the loaf


-Answer ALL the questions of a 3 year old for a week


-Spend a day alone in a wild place


-Follow your trash to its final resting place


-Collect food and blankets and spend a day giving them to homeless people taking the time to stop and talk about life


-Help in the birth of a lamb, cow, or horse


-Visit a slaughter house (try to withhold judgment)


-Organize a rite of passage ceremony for an adolescent, someone at mid-life, or yourself


-Switch genders for the day


-Build a house (your own, or for Habitat for Humanity)


-Ask a low rider how the lifters on their car work


-Apprentice yourself to someone you've always wanted to learn from


-Take a picture of you and all your stuff in front of the place where you live. Compare it to the pictures in Peter Menzel's Material World


-Read the sacred texts of another tradition


-Imagine your most delicious relationship and then go first


-Work for a week on an assembly line


-Spend a week without stepping in a car. Pay attention to how your town looks from a bike, bus, or sidewalk


-Exchange tutoring with a teenager - math or bicycle repair in exchange for Web browsing, skate boarding, dance, or ??


-Go to someone else's church, synagogue, or place of worship


-Go on a vision quest


-Take a dance class from a different culture


-Interview the oldest person you can find; record the conversation


-Interview a child


-Imagine a day in your life 15 years from now


-Plant and care for a tree


-Ask yourself, "What if everyone in the world behaved the way I am behaving?"


-Get the names of the favorite books of your dentist, grocery store clerk, mother, co-worker, and your minister/rabbi/priest or spiritual guide. Read those books


-Pretend to be someone else on the Internet


-Trace your water supply back to its source - and follow it down the drainpipes to its destiny


-Finger paint


-Spend a day in a neighborhood where you've never been before - without carrying any money


-Ask your friends, and your ex-friends, to anonymously send you a list of your five best and five worst character traits


-Live for a day off your garden


-Channel surf for an evening; ask yourself what about the programs is drawing people


-Be quiet for 5 minutes per day; increase gradually to 20


-Ask a young person what's on his or her mind and heart, and listen (don't try to 'fix it')


-Figure out when and on what part of your dwelling the sun's rays fall at different times of year (for extra credit: calculate the photovoltaic potential of your roof)


-Take a year off


-Read a foreign newspaper


-Meditate on the life of your unborn grandchild


-Talk to the janitor


-Assume that everything is your responsibility, if not your fault


-Examine a handful of compost or rich soil under a microscope


-Go without food for three days


-Watch a child being born


-Write a creation myth


-Visit an observatory, and look at the stars through a big telescope


-Map the creeks, streams, and rivers in your watershed


-Choose six jobs that interest you; find someone to interview for each and spend a day working alongside them


-Watch a snail


-Find out what percentage of the world's financial wealth is owned by the top 50 corporations, and how much by the 50 wealthiest people


-Visit the emergency ward of a major hospital


-Sleep outside under the stars


-Discuss these questions with a friend : If the Universe is finite, what happens at its edge ? If it's infinite, how did it get there ? If the Universe started 15 billion years ago, what was there before it started? Does time go on forever ?


-Visit a spiritual healer


-Find out what the clerk at the grocery store is thinking about


-Follow your electric wires to the source of the electricity


-Learn to line dance


-Spend two hours with a counsellor exploring your life


-Pick three trees of different species and spend an hour meditating under each one


-Go on a week-long solo journey by bus, bike, or foot to a place you've never been; listen to the people you meet


-Learn how to build a wall


-Fall in love


-Take a bicycle to pieces and put it together again


-Visit a Native American reservation and talk with the people you meet about their past and future


-Learn how to give a good massage


-Spend a day watching a state or provincial legislature at work


-Calculate how much carbon dioxide your family is adding to the atmosphere each year


-Ask a good friend to share the most important lessons he or she has learned about sex and how to make love


-Perform menial or repetitive work at a job that lasts at least a week


-Read primary sources on history, science, social science (that is, avoid the authors who are interpreting the work of others)


-Carry all your trash around with you for a week. At the end of the week, weigh it all


-Write an episode of one of the current top-rated sitcoms on commercial TV; explain the story line to a friend


-Repair a damaged relationship


-Start that band/garden/book/art movement you told yourself you'd always do


-Throw the biggest party you can; try to get someone from every decade dancing


-Ask your parents about their relationship


-Refuse to do meaningless work for one week


-Offer to help your child's teacher


-Admit that you don't know and ask for help


-Tell people how you are really doing


-Go to a punk rock or hip-hop show


-Sell your car and go to India


-Seek out a friend of a different race & class


-Ask people what they are planning to do about the year 2000 computer bug


-Calculate the total miles traveled from the towns labeled on food cans in your pantry


-Ask a kid about divorce


-Teach yourself to play guitar


-Go to the industrial section of town and see how much free stuff is available (go dumpster diving)


-Make a movie about your neighborhood


-Visit the nearest creek once a week for a month and notice changes along the banks, in the water flows, in the pools


-Collect dumpling recipes from around the world; throw a dumpling party


-Imagine yourself looking back on your life at 90 years of age: what are the highlights? Who has been most important? What do you wish you had done? Now go out and do those things, thank those people and live those highlights. Email Signup
Education for Life
Comment on this article

How to add a commentCommenting Policy

comments powered by Disqus

You won’t see any commercial ads in YES!, in print or on this website.
That means, we rely on support from our readers.

||   SUBSCRIBE    ||   GIVE A GIFT   ||   DONATE   ||
Independent. Nonprofit. Subscriber-supported.

Issue Footer

Personal tools