Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Robert Frost On Education

"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence." -Robert Frost

I really like this quote.

#1-because it is by my favorite poet, Robert Frost.

#2-because it carries the ring of truth.

It doesn't say that education makes you agree (or even disagree) with everything you hear.

It doesn't say everything-but almost everything.

It doesn't negate passion.

It doesn't negate life-long learning or having a teachable spirit.

It does allow for difference of opinion.

It does allow for firmly held beliefs.

I think it means that you can hear things that contradict with what you think and you can sift through them and accept some of it and let go of the rest.

I think it means that you don't take other opinions or stances to be personal attacks.

I think it means that you should not feel threatened by every difference of opinion.

I think it means that every new idea doesn't necessarily sway you.

I think it means that you can be comfortable and confident in what you believe.

I think it means that you can logically and even Biblically defend your stance in love and without trying to unnecessarily offend someone else.

In our day and age, we invest so much into our beliefs and opinions. Every issue seems the hill to die on. Agreeing to disagree is out of vogue. Difference of opinion is seen as a personal attack or worse.

Yet, education (not talking about formal education necessarily) allows you to realize there is a great big world out there composed of many different cultures, personalities, and opinions. Some differences are wrong. Some are just different.

When you are faced with different-what is your reaction? To eliminate the different? (Either by changing yourself or the other?) To live and let live? To embrace the rainbow of difference?

Sometimes change should be affected. Sometimes you should die on a particular hill.

Sometimes you should allow the difference to sweep over you with out losing your temper or changing your mind/actions.

At least, that is what I think. The inveterate non-bandwagon person.

And as a complete side note, this is what I hope my kids pick up in their education. Confidence tempered with humility.

What do you think Robert Frost meant? Do you agree or disagree?