Monday, February 2, 2015

Adult Education

Learn for a lifetime, or miss all the good parts.  We get to choose, but there's effort involved.

When we finished school, we were ready for life, equipped with everything we needed to know. That's what we thought, and it never occurred to us that we'd need to continue serious learning for the rest of our lives.

Moving thoughtfully forward then, how do we tackle life and its opportunities?

Helps: listening to those with experience! Whether they have artisanal skills or business acumen or relational abilities, all are helpful, and perhaps especially the interpersonal relationship insights you might acquire.

Hindrances: thinking that the knowledge we have is equal to wisdom and experience. It's not, at least not yet; for now it's just information.

Best source for advanced study: others! When we're early in the process, it helps to have others who think like we do to reinforce the good parts. Once we're well begun, we need to hear clearly those who disagree with us and understand how they came to that point of view. Absolutely essential.

Worst source: mainstream and social media. When we find ourselves agreeing with a given source these days, we need to remember that most are deliberately one-sided.
“For the most part we do not first see, and then define, we define first and then see. In the great blooming, buzzing confusion of the outer world we pick out what our culture has already defined for us, and we tend to perceive that which we have picked out in the form stereotyped for us by our culture.”  ― Walter LippmannPublic Opinion

Curious what it looks like?  Here's a summary ...

There's enough here for a multi-year personal study.
The most useful information is the last column, how we might relate
genuinely to others. This is an aggregation of several studies, the most
 notable being Kegan's Structures of Complexity of Mind.
If you're going to grow up, it isn't over until you reach the goal. There are markers along the way, if you're interested.

It's hard enough making it through adolescence and education, it's hard enough becoming a responsible adult, a marriage partner, a parent. All that is just the beginning.  😃

Ahead is the extraordinary world of identity and character, service and sacrifice, and meaningful life.  Growth and change are continuous, and there is so much to learn along the way.

An annoying note to self: those of us who think we've arrived ... haven't.