Posts Tagged ‘learning’

Learning Presence

September 12, 2013

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us. Joseph Campbell

My fingertips surprise me when I allow them to translate directly from my soul without filter. When I returned to this blog last week, I responded to a comment from Laurie (Speaking from the Heart ) by saying: “The more I learn, the less I know. I have seen, heard, and felt SO much that all I can say is that I know even less than I knew three years ago because my learning has far exceeded my knowledge. Now I have to go write a blog about that.”

So, here I am . . . writing a blog about that—the more I learn, the less I know.

At the age of four or five, I was complete. I knew everything I needed to know. My memories of that time are curled up in an idyllic cloud of nested satisfaction. During that brief period in my life, I had no worries about the past or the future. I was totally caught up in the present and that was enough.

Life happened and the world caught me in its grip of reminiscence and anticipation. Consequences began to haunt me. The future held shadows that foretold of events to come.

Learning became a cognitive process that created more questions. Half a century later, I stand at the edge of knowledge cliff facing a vast emptiness of unknowing.

I have learned that I often get what I have asked for only to find out that I have asked for something that is not good for me.

I have learned that no one is really in charge of life here on earth except the laws of physics and nature.

I have learned that we create our existence.

I have learned that nothing has to happen and everything will.

What I don’t know is how to put what is best for me first.

What I don’t know is how to help others see that we can only be in charge of ourselves and if we just do that, we might cause less harm to others.

What I don’t know is how to create a daily existence that is based on everything I write about here.

What I don’t know is how to let nothing happen.

I am learning ever . . . so . . . slowly . . . that if I just watch my life and live from my true presence, something will happen.

And it might be better than what I had planned.

©2013 Barbara L. Kass

The presence of . . . data analysis?

September 30, 2010

It is Saturday evening and January is visiting. She is now in the third grade and packs a book with her wherever she goes.

We sit down to dinner and ask her: “So, January, how are things in the third grade?”

“Great,” she says.

“Are you learning a lot?”

She nods vigorously because her mouth is full of chicken.

“What are you learning right now?

January swallows and says, “Data analysis.”

The fork with my food on it stops halfway to my mouth. Data analysis?

“Data analysis?” I say out loud. But you are only in the third grade! (I say this only to myself.)

“Yes.”

I am still disbelieving so I say, “What kind of data analysis?”

I get the perfunctory 8-year-old eye roll which tells me I must be a real dummy but January is too polite to say so.

“You know, Grandma. It is where you take numbers and put them on a chart or a graph to tell you what the numbers mean.”

Oh.

But you are only in the third grade, I scream inside my head. When I was in the third grade, we had just finished addition and subtraction and were beginning to learn multiplication and division. Then I remembered that last year, in the second grade, January was already learning how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions (something I still occasionally have to look up the rules for . . . especially that dividing thing). I don’t think I even heard the word “data” much less connected with “analysis” until I was in high school.

While my befuddled brain is still trying to reconcile this information, January says, “And I’m taking keyboarding, too.”

Keyboarding? Now, I know I am ancient. Keyboarding (aka typing) was definitely a high school subject.

The accelerated life skills programming going on becomes clear. Our lives are evolving faster than our skill sets can keep up with them and January is riding that wave of evolutionary learning. She is not in an advanced or gifted class. She is in a standard third-grade public school class, but she already uses a computer regularly and, like most children I know, can figure out any remote control device.

She was born into the mainstream of a technological society and her brain has the capacity to absorb data and transform it into life skills that meet the demands of that society. Someone is looking into the future and asking the question, “What will we need to learn now so that we will be ready?”

While I make every effort to live in the present, humans are gifted with foresight, and we should all be asking ourselves that question: what is it that I need to learn now to meet the demands of my life tomorrow?

©Barbara L. Kass