The Journey of a Curious Mind

“It is important that students bring a certain ragamuffin, barefoot, irreverence to their studies; they are not here to worship what is known, but to question it.”

~ J. Bronowski

I stumbled across this quote awhile ago and tucked it away to use when it seemed right. Timing, as they say, is everything. I believe things come to us when we need them, but we are not always ready to learn when they show up. Sometimes, like pressing a flower in a heavy book, we have to tuck things away and pull them out when we are ready to learn or have the capacity to benefit from a particular lesson. Sometimes the universe thinks we are a little bit ahead of our personal curve, and it just needs to be patient as we take a few minutes to catch-up.

Whether you are a parent whose child is about to start school again, an educator preparing for a fresh roster full of young minds, or an individual, who like me, thinks that life is a never-ending journey of learning and opportunities for broadening your horizons — remember that a bit of irreverence is a good thing. That approaching a subject, issue, or an unknown with your sleeves rolled-up and a twinkle in your eye is a far greater pursuit than setting out with a prescriptive method with no room for interpretation or personalization, not to mention failure.

If we’re lucky, the journey of a curious mind never ends. Failures will be many, but so will successes and re-evaluations — times when we redefine what and how we think, and are stronger, happier and wiser for having done so.

I have written so often here about creativity and curiosity — about the quest for education to facilitate critical thinking versus teaching children what to think.  As summer’s end draws near, I find myself reminded of this all once again. As I quest to learn new things and to create new opportunities in my life, I can’t help but think that the “ragamuffin, barefoot” approach is serving me well, and be thankful that I never had the love of learning squashed in me.

While I am quite adept at using a No. 2 pencil, I have never lost my desire to use the entire box of 64 crayons either, or for coloring outside the lines. I hope that the taught-to-the-test generation can say the same thing one day.

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

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