Bold statement. Usually not so true for positive deviants who have a tendency to suck the learning juices out of every experience.

Lets look at the facts. We no longer study history. Or those who do are kept in dusty corners of old Universities. How do I know this? There has been historical precedent to a collapsing economy, not just in the 1930’s but going back time and again from the beginning of time. There has been historical precedent for pretty much every version of war, going back to when man first sneezed. Even when we look at climate change, there is countless examples throughout history of humanity of the perils of treating nature and natural systems with disdain. Is any of the ‘expert’ voices out there referring to what history has taught us?

We do not have any eldership in our ‘modern’ day communities. Tell me how much wisdom has been passed down from your family elders in your life time? What have you learned from your grandparents, or even your parents? Where is the collective wisdom of our elders? Lost in a nursing home somewhere were we can’t ever find it. We think we are superior to our elders. That they know nothing because they didn’t have an iSomething, or connection to the internet. So we remove them from sight, and mind, failing to see the significant contribution they have to make. They know how to survive in hardship and depression, tools we may well need. What else can they teach us? What about how to grow old with dignity, how to make peace with death, how to read signs? (not the obvious ones) There is a beautiful movie, Bab’aziz, that has as its central story the gift of wisdom past from an old Sufi man to his granddaughter. What tragedy is the loss of this heritable wisdom in our culture.

We ignore wisdom of indigenous communities. We scoff in our arrogance, that they know nothing. But in their knowing nothing they survived and thrived for far longer than our little thrive moments which have been few and far between. How could anyone navigate across the vast Pacific Ocean in canoes without any instruments save for those supplied by nature? Stars, currents, wind, birds. Dumb luck, or some highly evolved navigation system that might offer us a few opportunities to learn from natural systems? What have they to teach us about paying attention to the instruments provided for freely by nature? Whole learning systems are literally dying as the elders die. Lost to us.

Our leaders of industry and politicians are far to wrapped up in the short term future to even lift a wisdom muscle that might involve considering the past. This is obvious.

But what about you? Do you take time to reflect, not just on your past, but on the past of your elders? History, ever given that a good look? Even simple reflection on the lessons you have learned from today, from your joys and pains, frustrations and humiliations? Do you use these as your school of daily wisdom?

As someone who delivers learning programs into organisations, I don’t need to see the studies on where real learning is gained. It always comes with experience. With getting our hands dirty, our hearts broken, our ego’s dented. Every day is an opportunity to learn. Even better if learning is facilitated through reflection, inquiry and some form of witnessing and reflecting back by another who holds the fullest expression of your truth as worth investing in. This is the work I mostly do that I love so. How valuable is this…better than a Harvard degree? Hell yeh. The school of the crucible of life.

Take a stand for your own wisdom. Cultivated over a lifetime, seeded by your ancestors, attended to daily. The world will thank you for it.

 

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