Recently…Some reading and conversations based on the work of John Dewey inspired us to look around and ponder life through some varying lenses. Dewey offers much to think about in the realm of learning and growing forward within the culture at hand. “Were all instructors to realize that the quality of mental process, not the production of correct answers, is the measure of educative growth, something hardly less than a revolution in teaching would be worked.” (John Dewey)
Simply put and looking at his work through the lens of the “classroom of life” there are many components to explore. Chaos, clutter, challenges. Clearing out, cleaning up, changes.
All are inevitable as we navigate life…we seem to circle back around to the question of How? Why? Now…where is here? And how did we get HERE?! CHANGE… it is going to happen. Expectations, dependence on what we assumed would be, and disappointment invades in even the smallest or most manageable situations.
Just the other night…we were driving home, it was dark and rainy…all of a sudden a DEER ran out. Brian hit the DEER…Or…did the DEER hit him? (THAT is THE QUESTION!!?!?) It seemed to come from nowhere. We were traveling in separate vehicles. So…from a very different perspective Brian saw the deer suddenly and swerved thinking he had missed the DEER…He had, there was just another one coming from the side and they collided. I had not even seen the accident occur and was suddenly upon a slower moving deer eager to get on its way. When Brian pulled over we took a brief moment to check the surroundings and drove on.
From this experience…we found ourselves searching for the lesson even within this unexpected inconvenience…and then driving on with a different consciousness sprinkled with a bit of apprehension.
Similarly, raised awareness of the culture around us plays a huge role in fostering authentic communication. Culture, in a nutshell, is how people do things in any given setting. What we aspire to do, how we may say it, and sharing of values is impactful. Relating to those around us can be challenging, peaceful, or perhaps some of both and more. How we develop and leverage our values, attitudes, and beliefs about how to learn and communicate and do life matters.
Through the pandemic of Covid -19, everyone was stretched at even greater depths to stay in communication with one another as we sought to traverse through new adventures in numerous aspects of life. Regardless of our daily environment, learning paths were challenged all around. Henry David Thoreau states, “If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.”
The season upon us consists of various commencement ceremonies, graduations, and rites of passage. Let’s make it a priority to mindfully care for ourselves and others, choosing to engage well with those around us and maintain a sense of healthy confidence embedded into strong character. While we may not see or be aware of the immediate effects, we DO impact those around us!
Currently and not so far in the distant future… you will be offered opportunity to press on, celebrate, carry forward, and INSPIRE the culture around you whether met by a DEER or not.
Will you choose to wait?
Will you opt to speculate?
Can you find calm within the chaos of the space around you?
Allowing heart and soul to mindfully and reflectively renew?
Find a fresh new way to exercise being flexible
You will find new strength to choose adaptable
Critical thinking to process through
Finding the lesson calling to YOU
Stretching forward with growing compassion
Finding engagement and healthy connection
Let us all stay culturally engaged and find our way
As we embrace others with what we do and say!
© 2021 Kathleen Bauer, Ed D
Alongside her husband B 🙂