Teachable moments

Life is a series of moments.

Every one of those moments is a teachable moment.

Sometimes it feels like you are being asked to take the role of teacher.

At other times you know you are the student.

Eventually, you realise that no matter what role you think you are playing, you are always Life’s student.

photo-1423784346385-c1d4dac9893aIt’s easy to miss Life’s teachable moments, unless you are paying attention to what’s going on around and within you.

If you are always plugged into your device, playing games, reading FaceBook or Twitter feeds, listening to music or podcasts, or texting some absent friend; how aware are you of what’s going on around you? Can you even notice what’s going on inside you?

Yes, you can access to a lot of information through your smartphone or tablet while you are riding public transport or filling in all those empty spots in your calendar. If we’re honest though, most of it is noise.

Sometimes I wonder whether we are plugged into our devices because we are afraid of Life. We’re busy avoiding her teachable moments, because we fear she might ask us to confront something that will burst our cosy reality bubble.

We’re busy avoiding her teachable moments, because we fear she might ask us to confront something that will burst our cosy reality bubble.

It’s one thing to be concerned about the conflict in Ukraine. It’s something altogether different to deal with conflict in your immediate environment, and absolutely terrifying to have to deal with it within the relationship with your significant other.

Ukraine is not a teachable moment for most of us. The teachable moment is there where you are, and there in your relationship. The conflicts we see on the news are reflections of the conflicts in our lives that we are refusing to address.

Those moments of conflict in your life become teachable moments when you engage with the one in front of you and embrace the moment.

Those moments of conflict in your life become teachable moments when you engage with the one in front of you and embrace the moment.

If there is one thing I have learnt on this journey it’s that Life is a patient teacher – she keeps presenting you with teachable moments until you notice and engage with the lesson. So do yourself a favour and get your head out of cyberspace every now and then, and check in on what’s really going on in your life.

It’s much better to hear Life’s teaching prompts when they’re a whisper.

She’ll knock you for six if she has to shout to get your attention.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter.

Using language

IMG_0493Do you remember this guy? Yes, that’s right, he’s that teacher who insisted that you follow the grammar rules, every last one of them.

You don’t see him much these days but he’s still around.

He’s that voice you hear every time you write something, the one that insists that words have to be used in certain ways.

In writing circles he is referred to as the inner critic, and he has his uses if we want to be understood by our readers.

If he was the only critic we had to deal with, life would be more bearable.

Unfortunately, he has a host of followers in the world outside our heads. You may have encountered one or two in your travels. These are the people that like to point out every grammatical error they see, regardless of the context in which it appears.  The language has a word for them: pedants.

I say language usage depends on the context in which the words are being used. If you’re writing an academic paper or sitting for an English language exam it’s probably important to follow all the rules. If you’re writing a letter email it’s not so important. What’s important is that the message sent is clear enough that it is understood. If you use ‘are’ where the rules say you should use ‘is’ (for example, the staff are friendly) we all get the message, even if the pedants insist you should say the staff is friendly.

Here’s a little something on this topic I found, by following a link within a link on Twitter the other night, that I enjoyed watching. I hope you like it.

Thanks for dropping by, Peter