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  • Writer's pictureEsther Brownwood

Finding The Foundation



foun·​da·​tion fau̇n-ˈdā-shən 


: the act of founding

here since the foundation of the school


: a basis (such as a tenet, principle, or axiom) upon which something stands or is supported

the foundations of geometry

the rumor is without foundation in fact


a: funds given for the permanent support of an institution : endowment

b: an organization or institution established by endowment with provision for future maintenance a trust administered by a foundation


: an underlying base or support

especially : the whole masonry substructure of a building


a: a body or ground upon which something is built up or overlaid a limestone foundation

b: a woman's supporting undergarment : corset

c: a cosmetic usually used as a base for makeup

Dear Friend,

Today, I’d like to talk about foundations. How knowledge builds on itself and how a little truly does go a long way. 

These past few months have not been easy, to say the least. I have been quite ill and have been experiencing much difficulty in my recovery period.

When one is sick for a longer time, adjusting back to the rhythm of life can be quite a challenge. The once well-oiled machine gets a little rusty.

Because these weeks have been spent busy surviving, much of my regular “doing” has been placed on the back-burner. I haven't played guitar, I haven't written much, and honestly, I haven’t done much of anything.

Now that I’m finally gaining some strength back, attempting to do all the things I used to has been quite daunting. It feels overwhelming to pick up where you left off when so much time has passed. That's why it strikes me as kind of a beautiful and magical saving grace that all knowledge builds upon itself.  

The good thing is, I don't have to start from scratch to get back to where I want to be with my skills and interests. The foundation is already there! 

When I was younger, the idle passing of time seemed terrifying. I feared that without dedicating my energy to doing something specific, I would lose all my knowledge. And all the hard work and time spent learning in the past would be for nothing. 

Now, I recognize that a little does go a long way, and all that acquired knowledge adds up. Time works on skills as it does on a vegetable soup left simmering for hours: it enhances it, allowing for a more flavorful outcome. 

Have you ever noticed that when you practice something one day, it may not go well, but the next day, it's already easier and smoother? That's what I'm talking about. That initial session of seeming “failure” is what allows for that future success.

The other day, I picked up my guitar. I was a little afraid that my fingers had forgotten how to play the notes that were so natural in the past. Thankfully, I didn’t have to think about what to do because the part of me that knew was still there. 

I’m a very curious person by nature, and one of my dreams in life is to be a jack of all trades. To have some knowledge about almost everything in this world. However, that concept can be very overwhelming. It can feel like I’m so far behind and lack the information necessary to progress in any of the fields, let alone all of them. 

I often feel like I'm not doing enough or my efforts won’t make a difference, but that is a false narrative of the moment. The truth is, we are always improving and acquiring knowledge, even when we’re not trying to! And it all adds up! 

The beauty of this world is that more days than not, even if through witnessing someone else, you learn something new.

It may not feel like you’re improving or getting smarter, but if you give it time and then look back, you’ll see the difference! The foundation of many topics is already there, even if you built it unconsciously. 

All your skills help each other. As fruit is starting to develop and ripen this time of year, so too will the knowledge be available to you at the right time. Even if it feels like you only have a seed’s worth now.

I am able to write this for you because the small steps I’ve taken through my whole life have laid a foundation I can build upon even when I don’t mean to. 

The same goes for learning a language like English. When you use your skills again after a short time away, you can recognize how much you actually retained. How every little bit you have learnt along the way, whether it’s through a TV show or a song you heard on the radio, all adds up.

I’m no longer afraid of letting time pass because I know that no matter what I do, learning is an inevitable consequence of life. I know more, simply because I have experienced more. 

The foundation comes from all the small, seemingly “meaningless” steps taken along the way. 

So, this month, I hope you take the time to appreciate the foundations you have built, consciously and unconsciously. I also hope you take comfort in knowing that knowledge grows. Even if you think it’s lost, you might find it buried somewhere! Good luck digging it out!

I love you. PS: If you want to build upon your foundation in English, don’t forget to sign up for our summer camps!

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