Can you teach me how to lose weight? – asked my friend right before we were about to have our late lunch.
She didn’t ask because I’m qualified to give her well-rehearsed answers. She just knows I’ve had few problems with staying slim. And she has a mind open enough to listen to my suggestions.
This isn’t anything unusual. I’m sure you get similar, if not the same, issues as a matter of pleas for help from people you know. When you do, what is your reaction?
You feel flattered?
Somebody thinks you’re special. That tiny little bit better. The wizard with all tricks up their sleeve.
You feel responsible?
After all, there are not only the good but also the bad and the ugly that can crop up as a result of your changing somebody’s way of living.
Or you feel at a loss?
Because the truth is, you don’t know the answers.
As a teenager, I enrolled in a teachers’ training college. I was not convinced by the idea of becoming one and so I dropped out. Some time later, I worked with people whose lives were in tatters. It never felt good to tell them what to do. It felt arrogant.
Just like you, I do happen to know a thing or two. And I’m willing and going to share whatever I know with you. But let’s make a distinction in the kind of knowledge I’m talking about.
I can speak from my experience and share whatever I’ve learnt from it. But I can’t preach or repeat trendy slogans as I feel I have no right to do so. And anyway, many things happen to me by chance. Certain lucky genes equipped me in better metabolism than that of my friend’s – for starters.
When we talk about teaching and learning I’m like a kid. I look beyond words. Won’t buy advice from somebody who doesn’t practice what they sell. What about you? Who or what do you learn from most?