Did You Learn Something New Today?
Last week as I sat with my morning coffee staring out our front window I could see evidence of a new school year everywhere. Little ones sporting new backpacks excitedly running down the sidewalk, teenagers with their heads buried in their phones waiting for the bus and “first day” photos taken on front lawns indicated that a new year of learning was underway. These images had me fondly remembering those September days with my own children. Never having had the luxury of being a stay at home or work from home mom, I couldn’t wait for my work day to end so I could hear all about that precious “first day”.
There were always two questions I would ask my children as we sat around the dinner table. 1 – Did you make the new kids feel welcomed? 2 – Did you learn something new today? It occurred to me as I thought about those days, that I hadn’t asked those questions in quite a long time. My children now grown and on their own means September doesn’t come with quite the same inquisitive energy. “Did you learn something new today …hmm? Where did that question go? How is it, that question seemed reserved for the school year… or for my children? When was the last time I asked that question of myself?
Daily, we have so many opportunities to learn, yet we mindlessly bury them beneath the “to do” lists as we go about our day. We operate on autopilot falling prey to the allurement of survival and comfort, putting our growth on the back burner in exchange for ignorance. Ignorance comes so conveniently but it keeps us small and unexplored. But if ignorance is the “little devil” sitting on one shoulder, “awareness” is the little angel sitting on the other. Awareness changes everything!! It gets us questioning and creates transformation and just like our most difficult teachers, always makes for the best learning.
As this new school year begins, let us all open our books to a new page. The subject: awareness. The assignment: to notice your thoughts… your responses. Be open to what they are teaching you and ready for the question. Did you learn something new today? You will be surprised by the answer.