*People pay thousands of dollars for education, yet listening is free. Nobody likes to be criticized. And to some extent, everyone displays some measure of defensiveness – the impulse to reject all criticisms by denying their validity and undermining the messenger.
Unfortunately, defensiveness does not serve us. It encourages us to ignore potentially useful feedback, which inhibits our ability to improve. It behooves us to rely on those with relevant qualification and expertise. We cannot learn that which we think we already know.
Listening isn’t something we’re all innately born with, and we’re all guilty of not listening at times. Listening is a skill just like reading, writing, and talking. That’s good news because it means we can all learn to listen and connect with the speaker. Like any skill, the more we practice it, the better we become. We have had practice reading, writing, and talking, but how much actual practice have we had learning how to become better listeners?
*“Don’t use that word!” This new, weird battle cry being barked by presidents, governors and protective moms somehow persists in the Land of the Free. Even casual conversation can be a tricky affair these days, with unlikely words laying in wait like landmines set to explode by the slightest touch, often causing unwanted clarification, heated debate or scolding.
*Recently, someone in academia (no point in revealing the exact location) was criticizing the West for destroying Middle Eastern and other cultures. Academically, this instructor was teaching of the “evils” of the West, and how Middle Eastern cultures were suffering and being erased. The instructor used imperialism as the model.
The imperialists overtook the foreign lands and exploited their resources and their citizens, making the lands colonies. The colonies surrendered their wealth to the imperialists who got fat and enjoyed the bounty of the land. The indigenous people of the colonies worked hard to make the lives of the imperialists easy and prosperous. The great thing about academics is that if one theory works, it can probably explain other events, and if that theory fits your personal ideology and position, all the better.
Imperialists considered themselves monarchs who achieved their positions via merit, when in fact their rewards were simply fate, being born to certain people in certain places.
*There is a giant gulf today between those who promote and profit from fossil fuels, including Presidents Trump and Putin, and our life support systems – Nature. In my latest book, Save Nature Now, I’ve dubbed it “Black Gold Fever,” a contagious excitement over the riches of fossil fuels.
Consider this, there has never been such an accumulation of money on our planet controlled by a handful of people. The bulk of that wealth was derived from killing Nature at the expense of the health of our biosphere, the livable space occupied by all living organisms.
Instead of prudently protecting our home, since 1997 earthlings have burned as much fossil fuel as the previous 250 years. Keep Reading
*There has never been a good answer to the question, “Why do we have to learn this?” Asked millions of times by millions of students, it is invariably responded to by teachers with avoidance tactics or gibberish because very often the real answer is: you don’t.
We invest heavily in information from the bell curve, yet ignore much of what it tells us. We know ahead of time that students like Jane, whose classidemic test scores fall in the center or the left of the standardized test bell curve, will not do well in Algebra or Biology class, yet we are compelled to require that they take those courses. Why? In order to give them a well-rounded education??