According to the Oxford English Dictionary (suck it, Merriam-Webster), the definition of “Learning” is this the following (Note – what I pasted is definition #1. There is a 1.1 that pretty much says the same thing, but without the word “acquisition”. Because, Oxford.):
Learning – noun
The acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, study, or by being taught.
Origin – Old English leornung*
Following the *above fancy Old English word, we get to this –
Origin – Old English leornian ‘learn’ (in Middle English also ‘teach’), of West Germanic origin; related to German lernen, also to lore.
Hrm. We’ve got teach in there, and…Lore. Let’s follow that for a moment.
Lore – noun
A body of traditions and knowledge on a subject or held by a particular group, typically passed from person to person by word of mouth.
Origin – Old English lār ‘instruction’, of Germanic origin: related to Dutch leer, German Lehre, also to learn.
I may be off here (trust me, I’m off a lot), but if we follow the bouncing definitions, what we ultimately wind up with is a word that’s actually cyclical: Learning = Knowledge = Teaching = Learning = Knowledge = Teaching etcetera etcetera so and and so forth and on and on ad infinitum amen pass the wine, please.
If we are learning, we are also constantly gaining knowledge, and also teaching. Granted, we may not know how we are teaching in the moment, but, we are. We’re teaching by our example of how we learn.
Now, here’s the question.
Do we TRULY learn? Do we teach properly by the example of the knowledge we’ve gained from whatever lesson has been on the docket for the day, no matter how minuscule or how enormous? Or do we repress it, no matter what IT may be, not only from others, but from ourselves?
“He/She/You will never learn.”
How many times have you heard that? Maybe more importantly, how many times have you ever said that?
And how many times have you been the person referred to?
It doesn’t matter what the lesson is. At all. At. All.
We all have been, at one point or another, both the speaker and the spoken to. All of us.
Question is – have we allowed the knowledge that we have gained become a teaching experience, in whatever form it may take? Or have we kept it hidden, because pride, fear, not wanting to be cast out, can’t sleep clowns will eat me…?
(I’m really, really trying hard to avoid saying “Or are we too stupid to live, because goddamn how many lessons has humanity learned at this point but really???? Still????” here………)
(….Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnd epic fail.)
I know what I’m afraid of.
What are you?