Teachable

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do." Leonardo Da Vinci


We live in a society that has come to value expediency over substance. It doesn't matter what we say, just that we say something, and be the first to say it. Knowledge has lost its gravity. Knowledge needs context, always. Contrary to what we're seeing continually, patience, self-restraint, and perspective matter just as much, if not more, than expediency. What does it matter if we're first if we're false? Pause. Wait to respond. Think. Think! Think!!! Before we speak, think. Our answers are more thoughtful and thorough we give ourselves that time to properly formulate them. We get to speak with precision instead of haphazardly. And, and, and we don't have to know everything. In fact, we should NOT know everything. Life would be pointless if we did. Learning is what life is, in essence. 

Be teachable. BE TEACHABLE. Be. Teachable. When we believe our life education is complete that means we have more to learn. Ask people to teach you, help you understand, or learn differently. We can never know all, but we can try. We lose nothing by admitting that we don't know. Instead of feigning knowledge, or grasping at cursory Wikipedia browses, we can take us admitting we don't know, don't know enough, or can always learn more as an opportunity to be taught. What are we afraid of? Combating our initial reaction to say we know ... gets easier with them. That's our jumping off point to be curious, feel wonder, and strengthen a connection. Ask follow up questions. Dive deeper. Give praise. Express gratitude. It's that simple. Our insecurity of appearing ignorant prevents us from so many connections, and moments where educating could happen. It doesn't have to be that way. All we have to say is "I don't know, can you say more about that?" and we're off. 



Ask to be taught. It strengthens our relationships to others, gives us access to information, and communicates respect for those we seek to learn from. There is nothing quite like seeing someone light up because they get to share with you something that fascinates them, that they are passionate about, or that have as part of their knowledge base. It is an honor for them that we recognize their capability, expertise, and value. It is also says that we are humbling ourselves, that we have more to learn, and that we are not complete in our growth/development. How powerful a moment it is for us to express that we do not in fact know something, in a society that makes us feel as though we must be omniscient, and that we are giving our time, effort, and undivided attention to this person while entrusting them to guide us to clarity. There is much to be gained by allowing others to teach us, and even more so, availing ourselves to be taught. It brings us back down to Earth, forces us to be present, and serves as moment of discomfort that facilitates growth.



Being teachable is just as important as being able to teach. What good is storing knowledge if it cannot be disseminated to others? Teaching, much like most things, is a learned skill. It takes practice for us to find our educational voice. What we're teaching is just as critical to both how, and why we're teaching it. Our intent, purpose, and agenda matter. Our tone, body language, and pace matter. Teaching takes on a transformative quality when done so with grace, kindness, and benevolence as central to its practice. We learn differently, and oftentimes better, when we know our educators care about us genuinely, as people first before students at their subscribing to their pedagogy. Putting in the effort to both establish and sustain relationships of compassion primes others to seek us out to learn from, and for us to be effective teachers when called upon to do so. Teaching requires thoughtfulness, patience, and adaptability. People learn in various ways, and those who are most effective in their teaching meet the needs of those they seek to serve. Switch it up, show more than tell, let others try, guide with - don't do for, and so on. Teaching with folx is always more impactful than teaching to people. Communicating that people can never do what we do, in the specific ways that we do it, is important. They inevitably must take what they've learned from us, make it their own, and teach it to someone else before they have truly learned. 




There are ways that we expected to simultaneously be meekly humble, and also be boldly confident in our capabilities. It seems oxymoronic, particularly in the ways that certain folx are praised for owning their confidence, while others are shamed for daring to be self-aware. Those unevenly applied standards aside, it is critically important to know who we are, what experiences we can source from, and what we know - and the extent to which we know it + how we know it. Instead of a deficient mindset, reframing our self-understand with a strengths based approach let's us take into account our gifts, talents, and knowledge base. We to take pride in what we're able to do, what opportunities we've been afforded, and the things that seem effortless to us. Some guiding questions for that process: What am I good at? What comes easily to me? What is effortful for me, and I enjoy? What are challenges I look forward to? Where does my knowledge come from? What do others ask me to teach them? What could I ramble on, and on about? How am I using my talents daily? Why am I comfortable with ..? How am I cultivating my passions?

Once we know what we're good it, it's time to interrogate how we know what we know. When our strengths are rooted in immovable truths, they become an indestructible basis for us to build ourselves from, and even more so, for us to empower others with. We to be good at what we do. We get to proud of who we've done the work to be. We get to share ourselves with others, just as much as we reserve the best of us for ... us. Know what you know, but know that we don't know all, and that we need not. As often, if not more, as we are teaching, we should be positioning ourselves to learn. And there is so much to learn if only we are willing to do so. X

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