“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.” – Goethe
Daily Nugget of Gold 1232
A little bit of knowledge is sometimes a dangerous thing. Suppose you went to college and had a chance to mentor a high school dropout. That’s an admirable thing to do, isn’t it? So here you are, with years of study under your belt and there’s the dropout with, well, not so much. What are your goals here? Are you going to try to impart some of the wisdom you’ve been so fortunate to receive? Are you going to do your best to help the less fortunate person using what you’ve learned so far? Those would be some nice things to do, but there is something missing here and we’d like to discuss that.
We rather love this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson that we’ve used it before a few times, here it is: “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” So… considering this thought, who did Emerson believe was the mentor? We often like to believe our reasoned arguments for doing what we do are well thought out and based in solid logic, and we feel that way whether we are a college graduate, a high school student, or a person in second grade. It’s easy to slip into a superior role. If you work with several equals and one day the boss takes you into the office, hands you a clipboard and declares that she has chosen you to supervise the others- from that point on your perspective changes. That’s the way life works, isn’t it?
So what are we driving at here? Let’s look at each role we play, particularly those roles where we are considered the high ranking individual, or the leader of the group, and those situations where we are called upon to share the wisdom we’ve gained thus far- lets look at those roles in a different light, shall we? Let’s see these privileges as opportunities to learn and to grow ourselves. If we have a really open mind, we might be surprised at some of the things we can learn. How does one adapt to their surroundings when life thrusts them into situations most of us have never been in? What are some of the ingenious solutions people come up with when they are on their own in doing something? What can I do to insure I learn more from this person than they’ll likely learn from me?
Your author here doesn’t have all the answers, and none of us do. Those that think they do are closed-minded fools we ought to stay away from, in all likelihood. Let’s develop and foster a life-long love of learning. That love shouldn’t stop when we graduate from somewhere, it should accelerate.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“What does this person in front of me know that I don’t?”
Copyright 2014 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.