“No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge. The teacher who walks in the shadow of the temple, among his followers, gives not of his wisdom but rather of his faith and his lovingness. If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.” ~ Kahlil Gibran …
Teaching truly is an art that requires both patience and understanding from the teacher. So often when we teach others, we impart our knowledge with the expectation that it will be understood and embraced by the recipients. However, unless we instill the seeds of passion and devotion, of faithfulness and lovingness, then all we really are doing is allowing them to visit our “house of wisdom” and not teaching them how to build their own.
True learning happens when the student comes to realize and embrace the lessons you teach. As a parent, I find that my children learn best when I allow them to experience my wisdom with me, acting as a fellow guide along the way. I like to think of it as lighting a fire within their hearts, an intensity that will allow them to search for the answers that they already know. And if at any point they would like someone to discuss the journey with, I am there; if at any point they get a bit lost and need some help, I am there; if at any point they are excited and need someone to share that with, I am there.
Those we teach are just like us–thinking, caring, and feeling human beings. They are going through similar experiences to the ones we have been through, questioning many of the things we have questioned, and feeling much of what we have already felt and perhaps still do. When we are able to focus on this truth–that we are a human being teaching another human being–we experience teaching on a whole new level. My children are their own unique selves, and I have the opportunity to help them learn so much of the wondrous knowledge and wisdom I have come to understand during my life. How awesome is that!
Give the gift of guided wisdom to others. Take the time to teach. Help others to light a fight within themselves to seek “that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of their own knowledge.”
Take time to read a book to a child today and allow them to recognize the importance of the lessons within.
Questions to consider:
What are you really good at? How could you pass along your knowledge and passion for the topic?
What have been some of the most important lessons that you have learned? Where have they taken place?
What do you think is the most important lesson anyone could learn in order to put them on track to live a happy, fulfilling life? Is this lesson taught in schools?
For further thought:
“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then–to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”
T.H. White, The Once and Future King
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ― William Arthur Ward