I’m following up the great My Turn/Your Turn post by Bob at Every, Every Minute. There are so many wonderful teachers out there. I can still remember a teacher in my high school psychology class. She was one of the first people to really help me understand thinking from someone else’s point of view. We had interactive group circles, we watched movies and debated the reasons why people did what they did, and generally began an understanding of human behavior. It was an eye-opening experience.
I’ve had lots of other teachers as well. Dr. Seuss taught me about playfulness and rhymes. My father taught me a love of nature. The movie Pay It Forward taught me the ripple effect of kindness. Several of my friends taught me to embrace my inner child. The Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa taught me about unconditional love, generosity, mindfulness and empathy for others.
I also remember the other teachers. I remember a math teacher in high school who pushed me to answer tough math questions. He pressed us every day and didn’t take excuses. I learned more in one year of his class than the two previous years together. I’ve also had people teach me what not to do; a driver who’s impatient, a boss who criticizes too much, and people who spew hatred.
I’ve learned through books, movies, relationships, jobs, missed opportunities and chances I’ve taken. I’ve learned by seeing, touching, hearing, smelling and doing. It’s amazing how much life has to teach us if we just open ourselves to it. The Internet is my newest teacher, and boy does she have some lessons to give. There are web sites, articles, blogs, books and ideas on almost every subject imaginable.
Don’t limit your teachers or your learning to just schools. There is so much more out there. Follow your passion, do what you love and the teachers and knowledge will come naturally. Learn about physics from a game of basketball, learn about food by preparing a meal. Try a new hobby and find your knack for crafts, wood-working, gardening or photography. If you’re not enjoying the process, find another teacher. There’s always someone perfect out there for you. Above all, enjoy the journey.