When I was a kid in primary school, I had a teacher who always used to say, “I am your teacher but I always end up learning from you”. Of course, we kids used to laugh it off. How could a grown up man learn from kids like us?
“When you know how to listen, everyone is the guru” — Ram DassA lot of things have changed till then. This time, I am on another side of the story and would testify to his logic. I am constantly learning.
A 2-year-old teaches me patience.
A 9-year-old teaches me how to be curious and forgiving.
A teenager teaches me how to handle a roller coaster of emotions all at once.
When you know how to listen, everyone is the guru”— Ram Dass
The more you speak, the less you hear!
This saying has been here for generations and it makes, even more, sense than before. With the tough fight for education, jobs, and career, we have been forced to believe we are enemies to each other. In the squabble for a good pay, we have mastered the art of practicing but failed to learn. We are amazing degree hoarders but we still aren’t learning.
It’s because we constantly need to prove ourselves we are right and it always starts with speaking more than we require. We strive to put all the efforts into proving ourselves rather than hearing a differentiate opinion. The mere act of gushing shuts down your ear and live a life completely based on your assumptions and opinions.
People may have a variety of opinions on this but there is one thing that always stays:
The first act of learning is listening.
When you stop listening to what anyone else has to offer, you have single-handedly stopped the entire process of learning. How? Because that’s how we learn.
Let’s go back to the story I started off with. At a tender age of 9, I was completely aware that I knew nothing and I was open to everything that advanced towards me. That’s how I started learning. If that doesn’t sound convincing enough, imagine how a newly born learns. He develops based on the society he is born in, steadily grasps everything he hears and sees, and grows into a person according to his environment. What if that kid stopped learning right after birth?
The problem today with our system is that we have defined an age for something. At 13, you are a teenager and supposed to be in a school. At 21, you have to finish your degree, finish your education and live your life you wanted. What we fail to inscribe in the society is that there is no fixed age for learning. Your education doesn’t end when you step out of college, it has probably started there.
Educate yourself not for jobs but for learning!
Your degree can get you a job, a fat paycheque but you would stop growing the moment you stop learning. It’s because life is much more than just competition and high-end jobs, it’s more about how you manage things to reach an ideal level of contentment and happiness. Only when you are ready to learn and accept life as it comes, there is a high chance of you reaching that stage. No matter how amazingly genius and a rich person you are, the truth is that we all are different and we all would have different thoughts and opinions. The abillity to accept them all makes you a learner and that is the true test for your education. It can never end at 18, 21, 35 or even 60 when you retire. It will stay with you till your deathbed and has the ability to teach you the power of love, compassion, and coordination. Make sure you don’t miss out on this in your chase.