So it’s become apparent to me that I consider teaching among the noblest professions. This story about a teacher who changes a life and is changed herself explains it better than I could. And this Paulo Coelho tale just about Confucius just blew me away:
‘So what makes you different from other men who have also accepted the will of Heaven?’
‘I try to share it with you. And anyone wanting to discuss an ancient truth with a new generation has to use his capacity to teach. That is my one quality, being a good teacher.’
‘And what is a good teacher?’
‘Someone who questions everything he teaches. Old ideas cannot enslave a man, because they change and take on new forms. So let us use the philosophical riches of the past, but without forgetting the challenges that the present world sets before us.’
‘And what is a good student?’
‘Someone who listens to what I say, but adapts my teachings to his life and never follows them blindly. Someone who looks not just for employment, but for a job that brings him dignity. Someone who does not seek to be noticed, but to do something notable.’
So there’s no difference between a transmitter of ancient wisdom and someone who has their own extraordinary ideas and brings them into the world. Not much difference between a mother and a Senator, or a priest and a soldier probably for that matter. Reading that just made all those crazy barriers and ridiculous choices and seeming contradictions just dissolve and blow away.
As I’ve been going to business school, and frankly kind of hating my classes and finding them dull and unchallenging and not honing my critical thinking skills (though who am I to say that unless I’m getting straight 100s- I just don’t have the motivation though for that) I’ve realized that I do really miss being a teacher. And I miss having most of my time unplanned by other people. Somehow I feel better just admitting all that. But I do think there’s some value in what I”m doing, and I’m committed to my path. I want to be a teacher but in my own way.
And maybe I still have some learning to do myself (like, after I finish this blog post…) And I wanted to learn about the so-called real world so I could experience some of it, make my choices, and teach others. And maybe I have to find myself before claiming to be able to help anybody else. I’m getting there, everyday, but I’ve got a lot of living and learning to do.
The thing that’s just been so glaringly apparent to me is how dumb business is. Making a profit? Turning stuff into goods, services, and money? Not that interesting, except insofar as profit represents creating social value. Just a few interesting human and analytical puzzles to solve on the way to doing it, but in the end, just not very inspiring, except for the whole providing amply for our material wants to make the spiritual journey a bit easier maybe. And living in a world of plenty is probably more conducive to self actualization for the masses. But I digress…
The reason I hate my classes so much (not a single elective…) is because I feel like I’m caught between my heart and my head, the material and the spiritual, and the world of men and the world of ME, and my journey. And I wonder about what role my ego has in all of this. I’m still trying to find the way to live a life of soul in a material world, and honestly I don’t want to do it in material poverty. I dont’ have any real desire to join the peace corps, and whatever I end up doing, it better be interesting, most of the time, I hope- though I always find ways to make life interesting.
I guess there’s no easy way to find one’s path in life, if you are living honestly. And maybe some of us are a lot harder to fit in than others. Being a human is tough.
Life is confusing, as is this post.
But it’s only faith hope and love we have to see us through.
And they are always free, but hard earned. Until Grace lends a hand, as it always does.
Wishing you the best on your journey.