“Personally, I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” ~ Winston Churchill, Speech, House of Commons, May 21, 1952 …
I think many of us could say we can relate to Winston’s sentiments. As children learning responsibility and discovering ourselves, young adults striving for independence and seeking to find our place in this world, or even simply adults realizing our own uniqueness and authenticity, we all have a streak of independence within us. And when it comes to learning, most of us have our own ideas on how we would like to be taught, and on what terms we wish to be educated and trained. <!–more–>
There were times, as a boy, that I felt stifled in school, times in which I just wanted to use my curiosity, imagination, and creativity to discover things on my own. And while there is nothing wrong with not wanting to be told all the who’s, what’s, when’s, where’s, and why’s–desiring instead to seek them in our own preferred ways and on our own terms–it can begin to pose an issue if that unwillingness to be taught, or unpreparedness to learn, prevents us from being open to the knowledge, ideas, and understanding of others.
It is important that we remain aware that we cannot be–nor would we want to be–experts in everything, there is simply not enough time available for us to do so. It is therefore ok for us to allow others to share their knowledge, their ideas, and their experiences with us, for there is so much to be learned from others if we allow our prevailing attitudes towards learning to be that of openness, sharing, and mutual respect.
Life holds within it an infinite amount of things for us to learn and discover, and we have our whole lives to do so. And a large portion of that learning and discovering is made available to us through the wonderful teachers in our lives who are willing to share their time, energy, and knowledge with us so that we can become more complete and whole individuals. That is why being open to that aspect of learning is such an important element of growth and development as we search for purpose and meaning in our lives.
Allow someone to teach you about something new.
Questions to consider:
What kinds of things do you enjoy being taught? What things do you least like? Why?
Who have been some of your best teachers? What have they taught you?
What are some other ways of learning besides being taught?
For further thought:
“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence.” ~ Abigail Adams, Letter to John Quincy Adams, May 8, 1780