An article published recently in the New York Times has given me some pause for thought. The main argument presented is that whatever age we are, we think we have finally ‘made it’. We look back on our youthful past and unpolished preferences with some disdain. Never quite recognising that at some point in our future, we will look back on our current taste in music or clothes or entertainment with feelings ranging from mild embarrassment to total mortification.
It has occurred to me that this is probably true too for the opinions I hold. It is a thought that is a little daunting for someone embarking on writing a blog. I am throwing out my opinion freely and shamelessly for anyone to read. Will I look back on what I have written here in years to come and cringe?
I hope so.
I hope that the at least some of the ideas and opinions I hold today, will not be the same as those I will hold in five or ten years. This is not to say that I do not fervently believe that I have something of value to say today. I wouldn’t make the effort to write these shorts pieces if I did not believe they were not of value in some way. But I want to continue to grow, to continue to mature, to continue to have my eyes opened to new perspectives. Quite where I will end up ideologically, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, I don’t know. I’m looking forward to the unfolding story.
For today, I am doing the best that I can. My investment in tomorrow is to make sure that I have contact with those who love me, those who will challenge me, and those who will allow me to grow. I commit myself to reading and learning; to thinking and reflecting.
Nonetheless, for today, I think I do have something to offer. It isn’t the final answer, but in education circles, there is an increasing emphasis on peer learning. One of the advantages of peer learning is that the kid who has just understood a new concept is often far more able to understand the struggles of the kid who hasn’t quite made the necessary connections precisely because the first kid has just made that leap. Those of us who have been intellectually immersed in these concepts for decades sometimes can’t get back to that small step. Likewise, there will be things that I write today, that I may not continue to hold tomorrow. But those small steps are important development processes. And as I reveal a little of my own process in this way, maybe, just maybe, I can help someone take another step.
For those ahead of me – please show me your process! I want to learn!
I don’t want to echo the despair of Macbeth:
‘Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
William Shakespeare – Macbeth