Thursday, November 4, 2010

learnable moments.

Quote of the day:
From the 'Anarchist Against the Wall' presentation at WSU today from 12:15-1:15pm.

"Congratulations LGBT community.. you have now the ability to be masculine and kill people." (Gal Lugasi; Anarchists Against the Wall), on the DADT. This is an anti-war activist, anti-occupation activist. It had nothing to do with LGBT rights, but about warfare.

Well I guess you learn something everyday.

So, I am discovering, through my oral history class, that everything someone says can be filled with so many things to learn. Meaning, even if it sounds stupid as hell, you will experience a 'teachable moment' (or maybe a 'learnable moment'); you just need to be RECEPTIVE and OPEN to it.

This is teaching me so much about myself. I am discovering that I talk a lot less than I used to. I have become an observer. Where everything someone says must be filled with something to take from it. It doesn't matter who they are, what they represent, or whether or not you agree with them. Regardless, there is something that you will learn. It has turned into a game with me, I must discover something that I learned before the conversation (or the day!) ends!

So, as a teacher/instructor, we talk about 'teachable moments', but we forget that we need to be receptive to those moments. We have to recognize that everyone has something, some sort of impact and influence. This influence shapes you (and them) internally and externally, whether it's at a shallow level or a deep level. Recognizing this makes you unravel personal biases, and accept everyone without a standard that you may unintentionally set for them. The only standard set is the recognition that they have some sort of reciprocal influence on you, and therefore they are valuable. This value is never to be discounted, because, whether or not you discover the 'learnable moment', you recognize the person as someone who is worthy as an individual.

Dubois says that the factors that make a life worthy are the ability: to move, to know, to love, to aspire. (The Dubois Reader, Representative Men, John Brown, pg 259)

I agree with Dubois on that one. And I feel like, one mechanism towards achieving that worthy life is through recognition of other beings who are capable of doing those things. To not live in your own self-created bubble of a biased world. To move, to know, to love, and to aspire.

I guess I'll stop here...



Anonymous said...

Good point!

supreem said...


Tata said...

I am guilty as a chronic observer.

Youthful Wisdom said...

Good post! I love observer way more than talking... taking in from others and just pondering is so much more rewarding I think.

Constructive Attitude said...

Great thoughts and so true!