People have the opportunity to learn moment to moment, and over the course of a day, week ,or year. It may take a person a lifetime to learn a lesson. Often, people need time in order to fully process what they have been exposed to or they need a catalyst for the thought to really make sense or sink in.
There are people that are quick learners that can hear something one time and fully comprehend all aspects of an idea. Others learn by doing, or experiencing. Some people never learn, or perhaps don't want to learn.
A supportive learning environment can help people learn more efficiently. It also also help a group of people learn more quickly. This is particularly important in early childhood and elementary education where the foundations for a successful life or career are being made. Learning to share and work with others is a critical skill in a highly connected world.
The phenomenon where a person succeeds against all odds is something that can't be predicted. Circumstances may include coming from a broken home, rising out of a dysfunctional school system, or overcoming pressure for peers. The will to learn and succeed creates a drive in people that can push them through both visible and unseen barriers.
People never stop learning. However, what you decide to do with new knowledge and awareness is up to the individual. It's very easy and comfortable to not change one's way of thinking or living. Becoming fixed, rather than staying fluid and flexible prevents both individuals and organizations from evolving.
Machines also have the ability to learn because that's how their creators have made them. They won't stop learning unless one tells the device or tool to stop. There are certainly positive and negative aspects to this.
Robots are being created now that can gather basic data about their environment and then adapt. This creates unlimited potential in a variety of fields such as undersea and space exploration, or even inside the human body.
Over time, I am interested in seeing what humans will learn from the way machines learn. How will the information and value that they produce affect the course of our culture and society? Will people become more machine-like or will the machines become more human?
It's a complicated question, but it really depends on how we want to use them.