When I was a kid and I would ask about the meaning of a word, my mom would never tell me. Instead, she would say, “Go get Big Blue.”
Big Blue was, of course, a dictionary. Not quite as big but every bit as blue as the one in this picture.
She was probably trying to teach me independence, but that encouragement to actively pursue knowledge fostered my curiosity, and it drove me to seek higher levels of accuracy from all forms of information.
Big Blue is still hanging around somewhere in my parents’ house, and I still look up words on a daily basis, even if I’m pretty sure I know what they mean. Only now, the hard copy is a bit less convenient.
We have a lot of information and opinions waiting right in our pockets, and I’m not sure when it’s productive and when it becomes a crutch. But we can always choose to embrace a learning opportunity.