I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures…I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.” – Benjamin Barber
I still remember the old conversations with my college buddies. We talked about how great it would be to graduate, start working, and never worry about learning or doing homework ever again. Life would be good.
I still remember the old conversations with my law school buddies. We talked about how great it would be to graduate, pass the bar, start working, and never worry about the Socratic method or briefing a case ever again. Life would be good.
Recently, I had some conversations with friends, family and colleagues about loving being able to learn and discuss new things. I enjoy reading books and articles to uncover new ideas or philosophies. I enjoy hearing people discuss topics to open up new perspectives on my views. With a commitment to learning, life is good.
We live in a world that wants to divide us…winner or loser, left or right, wrong or right, good or bad, smart or dumb, pretty or ugly, weak or strong. People will attempt to pigeonhole us into one of these profiles before they ever get to know us. This divisive culture had worked to ingrain another mindset into is that could prove equally damaging…flight or fight.
Too often, when society negatively pigeonholes an individual, the individual instinctively retreats. He begins to believe he is not good enough, not smart enough, not tough enough, not handsome enough. He starts to give up or quit.
We need to empower learners in this world. We need to convince them that no matter what hand they are dealt, they are capable of overcoming it and making an impact. We also need to encourage those who are intelligent to keep learning and challenging themselves.
The truth of the matter is that we never stop learning. Our education does not end in high school or college or even law school. We will always need continuing education and professional development to sharpen our craft. The world is ever-changing and we must stay educated to keep up.
Our education, however, is not solely tied to schools and books. We must also empower individuals to learn from mistakes, failures and experiences. We must teach and model for them that when our backs are against the wall and we face adversity, we must not give in to our flight instincts. We must learn and grow in those moments. We must fight to be better. Not everything goes the way we want, but we can learn from every circumstance.
By empowering learners, we cultivate leaders. We grow our society to strive constantly to make itself better. In doing so, we all stand to benefit…day by day, one individual at a time.
Bring your best today!