The people in our lives have a lot to offer us. Whether it’s our close inner circles- our friends and family or our outer circles- coworkers, various forms of media, or teachers, we’re surrounded by so many opportunities to learn. Who we learn from may surprise us, too. We may learn from people we admire AND people we disagree with, people we trust AND those we’re skeptical of, people younger than us AND people older- our inner and outer circles are typically made up of all of these. Wherever we’re absorbing information from, we’re constantly exposed to opportunities to learn and integrate them into our lives in a way that works for us. We can pull a little from here and a little from there to patch together what makes sense in our own lives.
And we piece together A LOT from others. We learn our values, how to take care of others, how to treat people, how to treat ourselves, and how to be good humans. We also learn that everyone is dealing with something and no one has it all figured out.
Sharing and storytelling essentially provide the building blocks of who we are. From an early age, we take in what we see, file it away, and repurpose it in one way or another. As we get older, we continue to gather information from others and decide what to do with it. Outside of the classroom, we have teachers in our everyday lives who provide us with valuable knowledge, we just have to be open to it.
Why might we not be open to it?
- It can be vulnerable. We may feel like we’re exposing ourselves by not knowing already.
- We don’t want to admit when we’re wrong. We’re protective of what we know and it’s difficult to open up ourselves to other possibilities.
- Sometimes it’s intimidating to learn from others.
- Not all “teachable moments” are comfortable and it requires a lot of work on our part to comb through what we want to remember and grow from.
Think about some key players in your life. What do you learn from them? What do they learn from you? Who are they to you- someone you admire or disagree with? An elder or a younger sibling? Who are you more hesitant to learn from?
Catherine at Revive