I’ve come to realize that there are really two types of people in the world. There are people who “know it all” and the people who can’t help themselves from learning more. I remember going to watch Paul Treblecock’s amazing documentary The Road to London, about marathon runner Reid Coolsaet. In the movie, there is an interview with a coach in Kenya who talks of the difference between people he calls winners and champions. The coach explains that there are two types of athletes; the ones who boast all of their accomplishments and focus completely on their successes—winners, and then the humble ones who are out to better their personal bests; the champions. Humble people are amazing. It’s a trait I try so hard to align myself with and consistently try to embed in my own kids. Life long learners are champions too.
I’ve just come to realize that my time here is precious. What do I earn from pretending to know more than I do? Further, why be content with my small bit of knowledge, when every day I have an infinite amount of more learning that I can dive in to? It’s exciting to think that I’ll learn something new tomorrow. It’s exhilarating to embrace the idea that someone might share a new experience with me, to deepen my understanding of life.
I am a teacher. I love to inspire my students to be life long learners as well. I very much dislike feeding them information, rather, I try to give them the tools and the ambition to want to know more and to figure it out on their own. I spend my days “wondering” out loud and giving them tidbits of facts I heard on the radio or read on twitter. I wait a few days and watch their journals fill up with passions that are growing within them.
In a world that seems, shockingly enough, to be boiling up with hateful privilege, close-mindedness and exclusivity, I challenge myself to swim upstream. Although media pushes these ideals towards me, I focus on the journey, not the destination. Who cares where the adventure takes me. I’m just looking forward to sharing all that I’m learning along the way. Champion just sounds better than winner anyhow!