Monday, July 5, 2010

The Attitudes of a Student

On Friday I mentioned that we should be students but what does that mean?

Being a student is about attitudes and assumptions that we make. The Attitudes of a student are attentiveness, curiosity and openness. The Assumptions of a student are we do not know everything, we are capable of learning, and we learn we are not thought. Today we will spend some time with the Attitudes of a Student and tomorrow we will look at the Assumptions of a Student.

Attentiveness: It is important to be aware of the lessons being taught and not allow ourselves to be distracted. We must invest ourselves in the process of learning otherwise going to school, doing new things and exposing ourselves to new ideas has no lasting impact. The currency we invest in our lessons is our attention to the details being presented. This is as true outside the classroom as in, as we become aware of the teaching moments in life we must pay attention to them otherwise we will find those moments repeated in different forms through our lives.

Curiosity: It is important to go looking for your education. It is true that we can learn anywhere but if we are always in the same place, the same situations then we are being presented the same lessons over and over again. We may get something out of them every time, more detail, more precise understanding but we become masters of the point of a pencil with no understanding of why the wood is important. By engaging our curiosity our willingness to wonder how does this work we will lead ourselves to new experience and new lessons. Old lessons may raise a question, ask them find the answers go looking for what things mean. In finding new experiences we find a new understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

Openness: It is important to be willing to learn. A student cannot have the opinion that he knows it all already or think that he or she does not need the knowledge being provided. All knowledge has value, being willing to take lessons when they are offered is a key to the continuance of our education.

Let's take a look at this in life. A while back one of my housemates was getting up every morning to work in the yard. Every morning I was trying to find something to keep me busy so I did not get asked to help. I became curious as to why I was worried about him asking me to help, since that sort of action would be out of character for him. This curiosity made me start wondering what I should learn from this situation. By being open to learning, understanding that there was something being taught in my own reaction to his action, I realized I felt I should be helping him and I was feeling guilty because I was not out there in the yard working beside him. Then because I was attentive to the lesson I stopped doing my busy work, put on some gloves and dove in to the yard work.

So by having the attitudes of a student we make ourselves willing to learn and respite to the lessons that are presented to us at any given moment.


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