When we think of scholars, we think about people who go through many years of education and research in order to enhance their academic knowledge. We think about all the reading and studying and writing and testing that is required to be considered truly knowledgeable in a particular field. We think about people such as doctors or philosophers or researchers. But I recently had a thought that being a scholar doesn’t necessarily require countless hours in a library. It doesn’t have to mean holding an accredited degree or endless enrollment in academic classes. It can simply mean continued learning and self-improvement through the experiences provided in everyday life.
Since becoming a military wife, I have discovered that there is always something new to learn. With each new situation, whether good or bad, there is a lesson waiting to be understood. I have yet to meet a military wife who isn’t willing to discover these lessons. Military wives have an aptitude for finding strength and moving forward. They reconsider their attitudes and change their perspectives in order to find contentment in their circumstances. They rely on each other and continually learn from one other. They know that no matter how much they dislike a situation, it will eventually come to an end. And as military wives, they will continue to learn and adapt to changes in their lives. They are specialists in their field. They are scholars of life.
Sometimes the best knowledge doesn’t come from books or research or the ability to pass comprehensive tests. Sometimes it is the ability to learn from our life experiences and create change in our minds that determines our intellectual success. For a military wife, this success includes finding happiness and peace within her mind. When this happens, not only does she benefit but so do the rest of her family and the people with whom she interacts.
There may not be a Nobel Prize for finding the meaning in the lessons of life, but to me it is just as rewarding to know that my hard times will afford me valuable insights that I can use to withstand future difficulties. Without this military lifestyle, there is so much I most likely would never have learned. Despite the fact that it means more challenges ahead, I look forward to discovering what other lessons life can teach me and continuing my journey as a life scholar.