Strawberry leaves, assumptions, and learning

Nitin sent along this article about the health benefits of strawberry leaves a few months ago.

Two half cut and whole strawberries on cutting board on vintage table

He explained that he, like most people, used to remove the leaves of the strawberry before eating it. After he learnt about all the antioxidants in the leaves, he now eats them whole and has grown to love how they taste.

It got me thinking about how I learnt to remove strawberry leaves. No one taught me how to eat a strawberry. At least not that I remember.

I must have seen someone else remove the leaves at some point and just assumed that’s the way a strawberry must be eaten. And, now that I’ve become aware of the assumption, it has changed how I look at the leaves of a strawberry.

So goes the process of learning. We start with some assumptions about ourselves and the world. Someone or something makes us aware of them and then helps us understand that we can change them. And, if we choose to do so, we learn.

It isn’t easy to change assumptions. It is much easier to attempt to find information that confirms them.

That’s what makes learning hard.