Thursday, June 11, 2009
It Takes Humility To Learn
To be teachable is to have the confidence and humility to know our gifts, power and limitations so that we may rest on God's transforming spirit in the midst of hard choices and chaotic times. [emphasis added]I am not very humble when it comes to academics. It is a bad habit I picked up in graduate school. I was working full time, and class work was just tiring. I soon learned that it was far more efficient to pay an undergrad to take a few notes so I knew what the prof was emphasizing and then do the learning on my own - after all, that is what books were written for. I am still that way to some extent some 35 years later. Lectures just take too long - I can read and absorb much faster than I can listen and absorb.
But what I should not do, and often fail at, is remembering that just because I can obtain information faster on my own, it does not mean the lecturer is not smarter, or more knowledgeable, than me. It is also easy for me to forget that learning is so much more than the mere absorption of facts. There is also, of course, the occasional pity or irritation that I feel for my fellow "students" at how slowly they must accumulate the information as they sit there questioning the teacher over stuff that has been covered 2-3 times.
So when I think about it, all those classes I skipped, I still had something to learn - even if I did get an "A". Seems there is a lot to learn in any learning situation - and sometimes it's not just information. I probably should have sat through those classes, just to learn patience and humility if nothing else. I can tell you this, it would have been a much easier way to learn about humility than some of the lessons that eventually came, and are undoubtedly to come, my way.
There sure is a lot to learn.