My doctoral classes are back in full swing and one of my classes is Teaching and Learning: Theory and Practice. One of our texts is Parker Palmer’s The Courage to Teach, which has now landed on the list of the top 10 books in my life. Not everyone wants to be a leader, but everyone must be a learner. Learning is critical to our survival both as individuals and as a collective.
Psychologist Erik Erickson states that in midlife we face a choice between stagnation and generativity. Stagnation happens when we are threatened and barricade ourselves behind our status, our title, our notions that we are good enough where we are and have no reason to push any further. Generativity, on the other hand, is about creativity and the endless emergence of generations. Engaging emerging generations and creating a preferred future are what drives learners.
Everything in your life should center around one simple goal: to grow into something greater than what you previously were. And then to pour into others as part of the great universal known as humanity. Whether it be a relationship, a job, a mistake, a success, a heart ache, or a dream come true we have the capacity to be transformed on a daily basis. Learning is the act of stretching your mental or emotional faculties into a new form.
Although we like to think of life as a series of events, it is actually a process. This slight shift in perspective allows us to successfully internalize and adapt to all the changes that will come your way. The other two things we must have in order to amplify and not extinguish our inner flames are tremendous people and tremendous books. They are the fuel that will keep us burning bright until our very last breaths. The world needs to see your brilliance. Make sure you become the light that draws others to a truer version of themselves.