To learn, to live; to live, to learn

The thing about choosing to learn–choosing to seek someone to teach you–is in that many ways you are deliberately seeking out a form of humiliation. We we decide “to learn” something, it sounds so splendid and accomplished. We think of the final effort of doing something well. But the process? The process is messy.

The process of learning to walk is about repeatedly falling down–on your behind, with a loud thud–not about gracefully strolling about with people watching you admiringly. The process of seeking someone to teach you is essentially about willingly seeking an audience to watch you fail, repeatedly and without style, until maybe you scramble enough to kind of sort of do it.

It can be uncomfortable having an audience, even if having a teacher can speed the process of learning. The thing is, this is life. Life is learning to talk, learning to walk, learning to get food up and into your mouth, learning to clean yourself and dress yourself. . .learning, learning, learning.

Yet we must chose to learn certain things. And in choosing, we find ourselves counting the cost. Is it worth it? The cost? The time? The effort? The witnesses to everything we don’t already know? To learn, we have to first admit how much we do not know. This is the first part.

Once one has become steeled to the circumstance of having to admit to ignorance and failure, we can seek to learn.

And after getting over that one big awful mountain, one becomes at least somewhat jaded to all the other incredulous inquiries to the honesty of your ignorance.

“You didn’t know how to do that?!” Your simpleness is so quaint! “Good for you for learning!” I’m glad you’ve decided to catch up to the rest of us!

You didn’t know how?

You didn’t know?

Oh, my goodness gracious!

But–now–the journey is already begun. Hopefully we will find the perseverance to finish with grace.

2 Responses to To learn, to live; to live, to learn

  1. “to finish with grace”

    Ah, that’s the clincher!
    I am glad you’ve boldly stepped out in these ventures.
    Trimming the “I wishes” and “what ifs” is a reward in itself.

  2. Yes. . .but things are never exactly as you imagined. Harder, mostly, but also sometimes different. If it were all striding out confidently to victory, the grace to persevere wouldn’t be half so necessary. Sometimes learning is being surprised by what you get, but taking it anyway, which is certainly an act that requires graces.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *