Today a friend – Sandhya posted a quote on Facebook – “There are two best teachers: ‘Experience’ and ‘Children’…always surround yourself with ample them…:>” and it prompted me to write this blog article.
Life is all about learning – not just learning math, science, or gaining skills for employment – but true learning – learning that takes us closer to our core and to who we are. Most of life’s learning after initial education actually comes from unlearning and reaffirming our deep beliefs and our core pure essence.
Basically learning boils down to two essential questions.
1. Is it true?
2. Is it pure and fearless?
What I have found is that the first question can only be answered with “we personally experience something” and the second is often helped by children due to their inherent purity and fearlessness.
Value of Experience
A person who sits in a library all day and reads may collect knowledge and pass exams but may not learn a whole lot. In reality the only truth is something you experience, rest all are stories, stories of other’s experience and their take and perspective on it.
Certain ideas are hammered in our heads by our teachers, parents, and society and then overtime we become used to accepting those ideas as absolute truth without validating the truth from our experience. At this stage we don’t want to go deeper and question the notions – it’s almost a convenient and easy way that works for us then – though it may not work for us in the long run.
On the other hand when we experience life with intensity, we understand the nuances of the truth and truth is never real that plain and simple. We also solidify the understand such that it is unshakable compared to stories – that can be easily debunked. Our personal experiences are the real foundation of learning and the borrowed learning are usually not more useful than in half-hearted debates others or self.
Children as mirrors
How many times have we seen adults tell children in a loud voice to be polite? Why do we end up in a dichotomous situation? As we grow up we actually loose our innocence and purity of looking at things simply and without fear – we simply “know too much”.
On the other hand, children are innocent, go with flow and operate from their hearts and intuition. They don’t have the biases that we have collected. They are also naturally more aware and relaxed. Moreover, children are never afraid to experiment and are fearless. They are more likely to give something or someone a chance and not get locked up in a position.
Start seeing the purity of children and you will be amazed at how much you can learn from them. Learn to drop our biases, preconceived notions, and fear of learning or changing. Is it a wonder that a kid can pick up a new language almost effortlessly and make friends with the strangest people around them.
I leave you with two interesting quotes:
Fear is not a lasting teacher of duty. Marcus Tullius Cicero
Love is a better teacher than duty. Albert Einstein