Humility is the solid foundation of all virtues.
Source:Attitude is Altitude
Ignorance and prejudice. Dealing with these two issues is indeed a lifetime’s work-in fact the work of many lifetimes. I have a few prejudices of my own I confess for example that I can be a bit of an intellectual snob. I really have very little time for narrow-minded and/or ignorant people. I also have real problems with know-it -alls even though I realise that not all such people are narcissistic. Some of them are just genuinely insecure.
The ability to look at myself and laugh has always seemed instinctive to me. I have never understood how anybody could ever assume they really knew everything or belonged to the only culture who had it right etc. Actually that one really annoys me. How would the world be, if we assumed that everybody was here for a reason and that they all had something to teach us?
There is no country I have visited which has taught me nothing, No people who have not offered an opportunity to learn.(even toxic ones) As one wise person once said to me,
Ok Lord what is it that I am not getting?(What is it I need to understand?)
Having my own set of beliefs, does not mean I always believe I am right. I mean how could I possibly be? To think that way makes absolutely no sense to me. Please never read my blog and assume I have all the answers (In case you haven’t realised I don’t and am probably wrong a large percentage of the time.) Reading my blog I hope you can find the bits which are meaningful and/or helpful to you. Please feel free to ignore the rest.
We don’t know all the answers. If we knew all the answers we’d be bored, wouldn’t we? We keep looking, searching, trying to get more knowledge.
I almost miss the The days I would find snails sliding up my son’s bedoom wall.
Ah those were the days.
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One of the greatest blessings in my life, is having a brother who is totally unlike me. I realised that today when I was thinking about my passion for helping children love reading.
My brother was not academic. In fact he hated school. He could not get out of there quick enough. It has always saddened me that the system so often fails people like my brother. I mean, I knew he was perfectly intelligent. He just wasn’t academic. I remember a note he wrote once as a teenager. Out of perhaps ten words, he had misspelled all but two of them:
“car” and “engine”.
This had really taught me something. The things that mattered to him, he could spell fine. He had pretty much been born knowing how to drive. He had passed his driver’s test within weeks of his seventeenth birthday (unlike me). He worked as a tyre fitter for years. He would talk to me about tyres for hours. What I don’t know about wheel-balancing, is not worth knowing. He had found his niche. A niche in which he has done extremely well. Perhaps controversially I would tell my classes about him. I would explain that he too had struggled at school but was doing very well now. I would also state that some things were still hard for him and that I was pretty sure he wished he had tried a bit harder at school.
However I had always known he could spell “car” and “engine”.That was his passion. That was what he loved. That was how he could have been kept in school. That was how he could have been reached. If a teacher had sat and read a car guide with him, I am pretty sure words like lamborghini ( I can’t spell it myself, I just had to look it up.) would have presented him no issues whatsoever.
I know it works. I found my son’s passion and I went with that. In my case his passion for many years, was animals.
We watched so many documentaries by David Attenborough, I feel I could qualify as a zoologist myself. To my former husband’s credit, he had supported this. We actually had the thrilling experience of seeing David Attenborough give a talk. As he (my son) had grown up, he had shown an inclination towards becoming a vet and had gone out rescuing animals. There is a wonderful photo of him working with a vet, who was doing surgery on a wedge-tailed eagle. He is at university now. His interests have changed but he refuses to pass on any of the many animal books from those early days. I know that early love of animals will always be part of him.
Anything I have done right as a teacher(and believe me I screwed up all the time) is because of those early lessons which my brother taught me.
My own son was an extremely active toddler yet one day he had stood transfixed by a single ant, for what had seemed like hours. I sometimes feel very sad that so many young men become so disillusioned with school. Somewhere in their heart God has planted a seed. It is up to us to nurture it.
Yesterday while watching a crime documentary, (I have always had an interest in crime and what makes criminals tick.) I had suddenly realised I had a clarity of vision, which I had never had before. The pure narcissistic rage which had culminated in this particular, terrible event, was suddenly visible to me. It was like I had dramatically obtained some kind of super power. Move over Spider-Man!
Upon reflection I too have experienced the fangs of a spider sinking into me, in more ways than one.
This insight was actually the last thing I had initially wanted. Part of me would still love to go back to the rose-coloured world I thought I knew, but that place no longer exists for me.
Recognising the need a couple of years ago, I had also obtained a legal qualification. It has been money and time well-spent. ( I would throroughly recommend this to anyone trying to extricate themselves from a toxic entanglement.) This has also helped empower me. The threats had no longer intimidated me in the same way. It had been useful all round too, as I had dealt with the multitude of flying monkeys sent my way. Perhaps most importantly of all, I have felt able to truly recognise through this experience, the great love which has always sheltered me.
Watching this particular crime documentary, shockingly I had found, I had felt like a seasoned detective.
I didn’t like it much. Where were my rose-coloured glasses? Where had the world I had once lived in disappeared to? Gone forever…
This blessing we have all been given, may have come at great personal cost but there is eventually ( or so I believe, ) a silver lining to this particularly dark storm cloud.