Once again it’s that time of year when we see school buses and kids boarding them to go back to school. Often they have new clothes, and we see new book bags packed with new supplies. Facebook has been filled with pictures taken by proud parents of smiling children on the first day of school. I still remember the excitement of a new set of classes, new teacher(s) and new supplies. I loved it!
When we get into the working world, the sharp lines of learning times disappear, and we may stop thinking we have any kind of school. But we do! Probably every day we experience some new thing that causes us to stop, think, evaluate and decide. And isn’t that learning? How do we approach these new experiences? Do we see them as opportunities for learning? Or do we react with irritation, fear, or impatience? What if we kept our child-like openness to learning?
I once heard the expression, keeping a learner’s mind. To me, this is the optimum way to move through life. When we’re learning, we suspend judgment. We allow ourselves to take in information, try it out, and then decide how or if we’ll use it. I think this attitude could go a long way toward keeping the peace. If we don’t have to protect our position or be defensive with someone who has ‘different’ ways of doing things, we can be peaceful, willing to listen and learn.
Jesus turned the world around him upside down. The norms of prayer and study were changed. The rules that were generally accepted were challenged by Jesus. He watched, listened and then took action. Jesus went by his internal guidance, what he called ‘the Father within’. We too can rely on inner wisdom, inner guidance and inner love to move us through life in amazing ways. As we are open to learning, to listening, to considering something new, we open ourselves to possibility.
Let’s all be like children, and let’s be life-time learners.