June 19


Today's Quotation:

Place yourself among those who carry on their lives with passion, and true learning will take place, no matter how humble or exalted the setting.  But no matter what path you follow, do not be ashamed of your learning.  In some corner of your life, you know more about something than anyone else on earth.  The true measure of your education is not what you know, but how you share what you know with others.

Kent Nerburn

Today's Meditation:

It's very tempting to consider what we know to be somehow not "as important" as what other people know.  After all, the people we see in the news who are sharing their knowledge are usually earning quite a bit of money and tend to be in demand by others.  The Wall Street analyst or the sports analyst or the legal analysts all have a great deal of knowledge that they share with others, very often getting paid very well for it.

But we aren't all here to be or do or know the same things.  There are many things that you know that others just don't see.  There are aspects of your work that make you really good at what you do that other people haven't discovered yet.  Some of these things are quite obvious to you, but others are hidden at some level even to you, and you don't get to share them with others.

A woman who's "just" a housewife, for example, might know just what it takes to get a baby to stop crying.  How many people would love to have that knowledge?  An administrative assistant might have developed a system for making his or her work much easier, yet feel that it's not worth sharing with others.

We've all made mistakes, and we've all gained knowledge from them that could help others to avoid the same mistakes (though this desire leads to probably most bad parenting decisions, too-- when we're in positions of control, helping others to avoid mistakes can be more like meddling).  What you have learned in your life has much value, but it's waiting for you to see it clearly; otherwise it can't reach its full value.

What makes your learning special is its uniqueness.  Celebrate that, and love it, and share it.  That way you ensure that the learning that you've done on this planet hasn't been for naught.

Questions to ponder:

1.  Do you value your learning?  What are some of your most valuable lessons, and how can they help others?

2.  Why do we tend to feel that our learning isn't as valuable as the learning that other people have done?

3.  Think of a great role model in your life.  How has that person's learning affected your life?  Would it have been as positive if it never had been shared?

For further thought:

Education should be of value to men and women both as private individuals and as free, self-reliant, and responsible members of the community to which they belong.  It should help them, as individuals, to grow in self-mastery and personal depth, to develop wider and deeper appreciations, to acquire an enthusiasm for hard work, to love good talk and good books, to delight in the adventures of intellectual curiosity, to become fair-minded, open-minded, and generous in all their human responses.

American Association of Colleges

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