recently, i've been reminded of how we are learning and teaching always--often simultaneously...and what that says about life. pure observation can bring one to some conclusions and simply put, that's how some of these new ideas have evolved. recently, watching people give and give with one person taking the credit for the whole project has brought me to wonder about my role in the learning/teaching when this sort of thing happens whether or not i'm on the receiving end of that situation or simply observing it. i tend to think all our lives are lived within the constraint of learning and growing from what occurs; however, one of my sons mentioned recently that perhaps i am the teacher rather than supposed to learn something and this gave me pause. although as a social worker for many years, i've frequently shared my thoughts and perspectives when counseling from a 'devil's advocate' position and certainly framed with words like, "have you considered this possibility" or "something to consider might be..." thus leaving the receiver the decision to choose which to consider and move with...it is, after all, not mine to choose when it's not my life. hence, the teaching piece of my life has been in my counseling or as a parent...but in a bigger perspective--a life path, if you will, teaching and learning is in every moment of each of our lives. even when we don't seek to be an example or a teacher, we often are. am i called to speak up or at least encourage the person to find voice in their paths when i've observed something unjust...am i, by silence, acquiesing and participating in some form of injustice? when and how do i know the lessons to be learned or the teaching to be shared? maybe the lesson is this: sometimes what's most clarifying about our character is what we don't say--sometimes it's what we do...and being open to when to do which is the challenge as well~
this brings me to the thoughts of leaning into life, embracing that role, intentionally choosing to BE present with life and all that might bring one's way. we've had a sadness this week and truly, what's to learn in this has not crossed my mind...being mindful with the experience and honoring the loss of our sweet little friend is the focus...caring for and supporting those closest to her is the most prevelant feeling within me...am i learning or teaching in this? probably so, but when one lives a life of honest presence, each moment brings something to learn, noted or not, and something to teach as well. i am grateful for feeling deeply and with that, feeling deeply the loss. without the depth of connection, i will not feel the depth of loss...and i will not have learned what was intended in that experience. much rather to have loved and lost than to have not loved at all. (Tennyson, paraphrase intended).