Lessons for life

We learn from every walk of life. What I want to instill in my students is the passion for lifelong learning, respect for others, and ability to think for themselves.

During my younger days I used to spend a lot of time with my grandparents enjoying the rustic life. At that time my parents were away, so during school holidays, I used to leave the residential school and visit my grandparents. While learning the daily chores, I used to hear from my grandmother a popular prover which can be translated to “A person either learns by studying or experiencing”. The proverb has sticky characteristics because of the rhyming words in the native language for “studying” or “experiencing.”

The other day I came across the web on the excerpt of John Taylor Gatto’s list of qualities of an educated person, as adapted from his book “Weapons of Mass Instruction.” The list rings so true to me and reminds me of that proverb I have heard from my grandmother. Here goes the list:

Really educated people ->

  1. Establish an individual set of values but recognize those of the surrounding community and of the various cultures of the world.
  2. Explore their own ancestry, culture, and place.
  3. Are comfortable being alone, yet understand dynamics between people and form healthy relationships.
  4. Accept mortality, knowing that every choice affects the generations to come.
  5. Create new things and find new experiences.
  6. Think for themselves; observe, analyze, and discover truth without relying on the opinions of others.
  7. Favor love, curiosity, reverence, and empathy rather than material wealth.
  8. Choose a vocation that contributes to the common good.
  9. Enjoy a variety of new places and experiences but identify and cherish a place to call home.
  10. Express their own voice with confidence.
  11. Add value to every encounter and every group of which are a part.
  12. Always ask: “Who am I? Where are my limits? What are my possibilities?

Here goes my own additions to the list … :-)

13. Be careful of your actions; Think of the consequences before you decide to take those actions.
14. Show respect to all. Everyone has his own set of goodness.
15. Get familiar with people from all walks of life. You will find opportunity to learn new things.

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