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On Continuing Education, Not Like Sisyphus

Guest Blog from Author James Bellerjeau from his Moral Letters for Modern Times series on Mr. Bellerieau is the Lecturer at University of Zurich and Past Group General Council at Mettler Toledo International.


I myself try to be an earnest student. Though I am far removed from my formal school days, I am never far from a book or an idea.

I put to you last the burden of constant vigilance, of watching your mind lest it become infected with viruses and weaknesses that would sap your reason. I told you that this daily toil cannot to be avoided because the threats to your ordered mind are themselves unceasing and unrelenting. I have more than just bitter news on offer, Deuteros, and today I will give you a message that is sweeter, though it too is about serious things.

Just as people are creatures of habit and we become what we repeatedly do, so your mind becomes more skilled with practice at spotting and blocking the viruses that bombard you. With your daily habit of reflecting upon and reinforcing your reason, you will readily spot traps and dead ends. This is not to say that you become unthinking and take for granted what you have learned, but that the lessons spring more easily to mind and to your defense when needed.

But do not rest on your accomplishments, my dear Deuteros, for you are never further than one step from a fall. Our friend Confucius advises us to

Pursue the study of virtue as though you could never reach your goal, and were afraid of losing the ground already gai