December 7

Today's quotation:

Personally I am always ready to learn,
although I do not always like being taught.

Winston Churchill

Today's Meditation:

As a teacher, I have to smile when I read Winston's words.  I get plenty of students who truly dislike being taught, for they seem to want to learn things on their own.  They want to use their creativity and curiosity to find things out themselves, not to be told how things are.  And I have to sympathize with them, for that's also my preferred way of learning.

But problems do arise when one or both of two things happen--either someone isn't ready or willing to learn, or someone is completely unwilling to be taught.

Our lives are one long, involved learning process.  We simply can't go through life without learning new things, though some people seem to be able to do so.  What tends to happen, I find, is that people simply refuse to put into practice what they've learned, or they refuse to give any further thought to new information or ideas, preventing them from becoming part of themselves.  This is a tragic way to approach life, for it keeps us closed, narrow, and empty, completely stuck in outmoded ways of doing things and seeing things.

We may not enjoy being taught, but on the other hand there are some wonderful teachers with tons of experience out there, just waiting to teach us what they know.  And while some teachers I've had have turned out to be arrogant and annoying, the vast majority of them teach because they love to share and they love to teach.  Some of my most valuable learning experiences have come from the most unexpected sources, and even though I don't always like being taught, I know that learning from other people is one of the most important elements of my life.  If I block off that source of learning, then where will I be?

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things do you least like being taught?  Why?

What are some ways of learning other than being taught?

Who have been your best teachers?  What have they taught you?

For further thought:

Learning is not attained by chance.
It must be sought for with ardor
and attended to with diligence.

Abigail Adams

  
  

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