Friday, August 29, 2008

Stronger Lessons


In the past few weeks I have taught some stronger lessons. A wise friend shared this poem with me. Whitman's question is for the learner. I now see that the teacher learns as well.

Stronger Lessons

HAVE you learned lessons only of those who admired
you, and were tender with you, and stood aside
for you?

Have you not learned the great lessons of those who
rejected you, and braced themselves against
you? or who treated you with contempt, or
disputed the passage with you?


from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1867)

2 comments:

Kelly J. Bozanic said...

A generation may separate teacher from learner, but when viewed on the timeline of history, born in 1959 or 1979, they are close on the spectrum. A child may grow to become a parent, yet will always be the child of someone else. So too with teaching. A learner becomes a teacher, yet continues to be a learner himself. . . Thank you for sharing.

Alison M. Kilmartin said...

It seems to me that positions of power and influence are not to be envied without great pause. True, they are positions of authority, decision, and power, but they carry with them such a great weight of responsibility and accountability before God and man that the sobriety of the position eclipses the celebrity of it. I am sure that you are striking the perfect balance and will grow more in the years as lesson teacher than you ever did as student. Along the way, you will plant seeds in so many that the harvest will be great and well worth the effort.