I learn from others


Note:  I do hope that my self appointed editor will not find too much wrong with this post.  (I did change a lot of  “it’s” to “its” just for you.)

Much of what we learn throughout life is from others. Good or bad, that is what we have. That is what we get. That is what we all learn.

Our culture, our values, many of our desires, goals, dreams, our entire lives are built piece by piece. Our experiences are major contributors to our learning (life’s education).  Even though some of our experiences are as a result of some accident or unintended source, still, most of  it comes from someone else.

Lately…. well…. lets just say that I have learned a good bit as a result of my personal life about others, their struggles, their experiences, their hurts and fears, their limits, their needs, their desires, and in doing so, I’ve learned much about myself.  That would include my hurts and fears, understanding my own struggles, what my needs and desires are, and have even solidified some of my own goals and dreams.

You’ve seen in my blog much of the pain I have felt. I don’t just feel pain for myself. I feel pain for others as well. I see in them the pain they feel and I feel it with them.  Sometimes I can feel exactly what they feel.  Other times, well, there is no possible way for me to fully understand.  Why?  Some experiences I just can not experience.  It could be because of my age and what they have experienced happened long ago.  It could be a gender based issue that it is not possible for me to experience.  Either way, I can still see and feel the pain.  Not exactly, but it is there none the less.

No-one can really feel what you or I feel.  It is very individual.  It can be similar but not completely the same.  Each experience or piece of knowledge  effects each of us differently.  With things happening at such a fast pace in this age I can completely understand how it can be so overwhelming.

No matter how difficult I have it (or you for that matter), life is harder for someone else.  The struggles are greater, their history more muddled, their injury deeper.  I know… it really doesn’t matter in the moment does it.  No matter how hard we try, what is happening to us is happening right where we are.  It is extremely difficult if not impossible to ignore the rain falling around us to see that the tsunami is occurring somewhere else in someone else’s life.

Most of the time the individual can cope with the normal everyday issues that come up.  Right now I have seen an increase in the stress levels of those around me as well as in my own life.  For some of it has to do with the economy.  For others it may have to do with a love relationship.  Others may have stress due to a job or even no job.  Others have mittigating factors that compound the issues.  Medications that they are on regularly.  Family matters that heap more on.  I know of some people that multiples of all of the factors listed and maybe more.

When you heap so much on a person (or even when it is heaped upon them), there comes a time when that level of stress becomes so great that some sort of release is needed.  There are always ways of dealing with the pressures.  Some good.  Some not so good.  I do not condem anyone for finding their own way of escape.  I have come to understand and even empathize with the person that came up with the phrase “stop the world – – I want to get off.”  No… I’m not saying I really want to get off.  I think it means, it is just too much to bear sometimes.

Self medication is prevalent.  I’m not totally against it.  Just want to encourage anyone that may be involved in such to be extremely careful.  This could include any type of drug including alcohol, over the counter meds, prescription meds, over exercising (yes you can), even love can be a drug or at least the similitude of love.  Actually either.  Real or fake.  I’m finding that there are those that don’t recognize the difference.  Some because they’ve never really had it and some because they just don’t want to really see it.

I am learning.  Sometimes it is very difficult.  Hard to do because sometimes it requires sacrifice of what I want for the good of someone else.  Call me selfish.  I don’t really think so.  Sometimes the learning has to do with taking care of myself first.  If you are one that loves to help others, you find that to be a difficult thing to do.  But you must.  You can be of no value to anyone else if you do not take care of yourself.  This does not mean you should be self centered.  Rather, it means that you should take care to protect yourself at least enough so that there is something left for you to give to someone else.

If a fruit tree were able to select to give its fruit of it’s own accord, if it were to give all of its fruit to one other tree (so to speak), that would be ok.  If, however, that same tree were to give all of its fruit and then all of its leaves, its bark, its roots, all of itself…  well…  you get the idea.  You have to leave enough of yourself to allow more fruit to grow.  Otherwise, you have nothing left to give.

For now, I just want to think a while.  Maybe not even think.  Maybe just be.  Be without thinking too much.  Live without expecting anything or looking for anything.

I want to trust but I find it difficult.  Lies from others have caused me to  become a skeptic.  So, I’m back to just living and learning.  Someday, I hope to be able to love like I have before.  Deeply, completely.  I hope it is not too long before this happens.  Living and learning without loving is not really living in my book.  It is simply existing.  So I continue.  So I exist.  So I try, one day at at time, to learn to love again.  There is still enough love left in me to grow.

Yes.   There are those that I have that I love.  I have family and friends.  I love them and most of the time they love me.  Still, I am one man.  With one man’s thoughts.  Attempting to find meaning.  Attempting to find understanding.  Trouble is, I find that part of that song is just a little too true.  “The more I learn, the less I know.”  I continue to learn from others.

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Author: memman

Too much to tell. There is more than what is seen on the surface of any man. Some have more layers than others. I have many.

2 thoughts on “I learn from others”

  1. Quite refreshing Dan. Your statement about learning here, and sharing what you yearn for so well, especially coming from a man your age, in this country, I think is not the simple statement it may appear to be! Let me explain.

    In a country where a grown adult man seeing not only that he IS learning from others, but seeing that learning as a positive trait to embrace, that enriches our lives… actually is astonishing to hear! When admitting the need to “learn” in some circles can be seen almost as a character flaw, a sign of immaturity, or… even weakness. Weakness! We cannot stand weakness in this country! A country, which at our very heart, is ALL about STRENGTH! A country where competition in professional football and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championships), are held up to millions of our young, as the height and pinnacle of ultimate achievement. And in these sports, any quality that may even pretend to act like a weakness, is to be brutally murdered, and even have such thoughts obliterated from memory in order to have all available energy invested in winning at ALL cost… knowing that to beat the best at these professions, will take nothing less. And even THAT may well not be enough.

    Having said this… I am actually a bit of a fan of these two sports myself! There is a mystery and even a beauty to me, in seeing athletes in the prime of their career, going into full combat with all the skill, strength, and COURAGE, that it takes to stand up against the best of the best in these sports. Knowing that people just like them are carried off on stretchers everyday. Some never to return. Never the less, in the face of what should be sheer terror, they go into it with what looks like excitement. Possibly even joy! Full of life and vitality!

    So what am I saying?

    I think our country is relatively young, globally speaking. And though our current passion for strength and winning, at which we HAVE proved to have greatness globally, (always big winners in the Olympics and professional sports, etc.) embraces a wonderful fun and vigor… which can masquerade as a passion for life… kind of like a drug.
    But our country is also like an immature adolescent in how we simply lack the wisdom, to become quiet and still in the face of great adversity, in order to more fully recognize true strength in the present moment. Because in adversity fear can easily take over. And yes, there are many, many times, where true strength may actually look more like weakness! And where fear is high, weakness is most shunned.
    I am reminded of movies and TV series that have really struck a chord in recent decades, and I think it is related to what I am saying. The Karate Kid, where an adolescent boy is trained by the wise eastern guru figure, to find the strength he needs to overcome terrifying odds. To discover a strength of character he can be proud of… and that stands larger than any single competitor.
    The TV series Kung Fu, with David Carradine as Quai Chang Cain, was a very similar example, where much of the show was made up of his flashbacks of learning and training with his master teachers. And in both of these, “learning” and “humility” were elevated to the level of supreme values. It was from this show, as a kid I learned about the power of the phrase, “walk softly and carry a big stick”. Because in our country, “confidence” and “success” are held as supreme. And as such, it is all the harder for us to see our own immaturity as a country. Overall we have embraced a macho bravado, sort of John Wayne style. And we seem to think, “Ok, success and confidence is where it’s at! Well, if I’m not there yet (which most feel much of the way) I’m just gonna fake it til I make it”. Problem is, without proper training, “confidence”, easily becomes arrogance, and loses it’s heart.

    But our zest for confidence and success is really not the problem. A more mature mindset in our genuine desire for confidence and success, is to embrace a road that will genuinely lead to such fruit, and beyond! And that road is LOADED with humility and learning. Even glimmers of recognition of this, is strength!
    True strength of character, has a heart. And the heart is a teacher par excellence.
    Here, I am reminded of William Wallace, on “Braveheart” yelling “FREEDOM” in his dying breath, as he was being publicly tortured and humiliated. That moment, as much as any I can think of, took what appeared to be potentially, utter humiliation and weakness, and through a courage, not of this world, transformed it into a strength and beauty for which words are insufficient, for one reason. His fragile heart (yet not so fragile), continued to speak it’s free flowing truth, in the face of horrific, unspeakable evil. And there is not a beating heart on the planet that does not find inspiration and comfort in that. Yes -there are those that may seem to be unaffected. And that would be those whose life mission has become to remain estranged from their heart.
    To me, evil is basically a severance from the heart. And though I can well understand those who might want a heart that’s been broken to be removed, or at least want to escape, or dull the feelings it brings with it (like with drugs & alcohol). Such a severing can have severe consequences. No pun intended.
    So I’m left with a question.
    Is learning a weakness?
    I don’t think real learning can happen without constant feedback from the heart. And it requires us embracing ourselves just as we are, immaturity and all, and letting the heart lead the way from there.

    What you have written Dan I think speaks well not only for you personally, given the time and era you grew up in. But I can’t help but feel it is an important step for our society, that men are beginning to have the “eyes to see” many of the things you are seeing, even in the face of strong adversity, really looking for ways that bring about real growth!
    That’s exciting.

    Because let’s face it, if we do not LEARN from our heart daily, have we really Lived?

    1. If we do not LEARN from our heart daily, have we really Lived?

      I have to agree Michael if we choose not to learn from our heart daily are we really living?….Painful as it is sometimes…we all want to run and hide when it becomes unbearable. Unfortunately it is at our weakest point that we have the capacity to grow and learn from our pain. Everytime we stumble and pick ourselves back up we learn. Learn to trust ourselves again, and learn to love all over again… each and every day….and that my friends THAT is living.

      Thanks Dan for another glinmpse into that huge heart of yours and I’m glad you have just enough love left to grow!

      Becky

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