Turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Mar 2018 10:39:04



Earlier, it was assumed that everyone learnt the same way and one teaching method could be right to everyone. Today, we know that different ways have different effects. Teaching is best when adapted to the specific learning needs of individual students. The better schools have begun to integrate the understanding into their teaching methods. We know that each person has unique mixture of intelligence or ways of understanding the world. Also, each person has a different learning style. Once we understand this, we can treat children in different ways. One need not run after money. If I pursue money, I can’t find my personality expressed properly. Self-expression is more important than collecting money.

Abraham Maslow, American Psychologist, said that life should be a flow without a jerk in it. Job satisfaction would put less value on money. If man is primary, money becomes secondary. If money is primary, man becomes secondary. We all bring-up children in our own style and children don’t like it. Parents, teachers and others stifle the personality of the child and become square pegs in round holes. Children are very good at using their imaginations. They do it naturally like the Psychologist called imagination as vicarious trial and error learning. Children also learn through direct interaction with the world.

Most of our learning after childhood occurs vicariously. As we learn to have symbols, we are no longer limited to learning by direct interaction with the world. Most of us learn to devalue the imagination and through disuse we lose it. We become reality oriented, logical and rational thus depriving ourselves of a fantastic resource for creativity. Thomas Edison said: “If we did all the things we were capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” King Camp Gillette dreamed of a Razor blade. No one thought that he could make it. Gillette laboured for 4 years the first disposable Razor and another 6 years to get it placed on the shelves. First year only 51 blades sold; second year 90.

He revolutionised the shaving industry. In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world. The love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies. Peter Drucker wrote: “The only way to increase productivity is to increase the output and effectiveness of the mind. This can be accomplished only if we succeed both in making each of the men more productive in his own right and in making his contribution more effective throughout the entire period of work.” There is a Chinese proverb which says: “If you want plan for one year plant corn; if you want to plan for 30 years, plant trees; if you want to plan for 100 years, plant men.” The time which we have at our disposal everyday is elastic, the passions we feel expand it; those that we inspire in others contract it and habits fill-up what remains. As Bees extract honey from the stronger and direct herbs, so sensible men often get advantage and profit from the most awkward circumstances. We should learn how to do that and practice it, like the man who throwing a stone at his dog missed it and hit his stepmother where upon he exclaimed “Not so bad after all”.

Wise men say and not without reason that whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past, because human events resemble those of preceding times. This arises for the fact that they are produced by men who have been and ever will be, animated by the same passions. Thus, they must necessarily have the same results. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “Each man has his own vocation. The talent is the call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him. So do what you love; love what you do. High achievers have shown that no matter how different their personalities, their work habits or their occupation, the people who accomplish great things in life have visualised and expected success all along.

These men had the ability to vividly picture their achievements and to reassure themselves they would come through ultimately.” At the age of 60 Thomas Edison wrote: “I will never give-up, because I may have a streak of luck before I die! From now until I am 75, I expect to be busy with my regular work. At 75, I expect to wear waistcoats with fancy buttons. At 80, I expect to learn to play Bridge (Card game) and talk foolish things to the ladies and at 85 to wear a full dress suit every evening at Dinner. At 90, I do not know because I never plan more than 30 years ahead”. I entirely agree with him because I am 90 now! ■