A friend was recently discussing with me her frustration with kids not wanting to learn things in her classes. I am sitting here right now listening to Norwegian lullabies and noticing the different cadence patterns from what most western songs have and I started analyzing this. As I realized what I was doing, I started thinking about how nobody would care if I started talking about this in a public forum. It also made me realize that if I was teaching a music class and addressing this very topic, most of the students in the class (even if they were music majors) would not care. They would dismiss it or ignore it or just want to know what they have to memorize to pass the test, but not actually really care about the topic or get into it to the level I currently am.
This of course then led me to think about my friend. I started thinking over my tenure of teaching and how that is common across all age groups. As I just mentioned, I could post it on Facebook and nobody would care. I think those of us who are intensely academically inclined have a really hard time comprehending the willful disinterest in learning.
Then again, we would also be amiss to not acknowledge our own self-grandiosity when we were younger and how we didn’t bother to pay attention back then either. It only took YEARS of tireless efforts by teachers and professors to pull our stubborn minds up to the level of understanding why it is interesting and important.
This also then brings me to thinking of my clients. They may be “running” nonprofits, but I would say nearly all of them have no degree in nonprofit management as I do. I’ve not only run nonprofits, but I studied it. I see things they don’t because they just learn as they go and only within the small realm of awareness they are exposed to.
The irony in all of this is that those who are willfully disinterested in learning are the ones who think the teachers/professors/consultants are the ones who are acting superior. When in reality, it is the other way around. Those who think they don’t need to learn are the ones who are self-indulgent. A passion for learning is a sign of maturity. It is a full realization that you don’t know everything.