I’m a great consumer.
I buy with no questions asked. I read a lot, without discussion about it. I’m easy to please and I accept anything that’s given to me.
I’m a natural consumer but not so comfortable with interaction or exchange. My anxiety heightens when I’m asked to simply state my name in front of others, let alone having to share thoughts or ideas.
Problem is, consuming can only take me so far. There is much beyond the ceiling of consuming.
I’m learning to not just consume or just create but to exchange. Here is where the power is.
The exchange offers a deepness and richness that fulfills.
I want to do this well.
I’ve felt satisfaction and inspiration from a productive exchange with others.
These exchanges could cover any realm: emotion, information, beliefs, etc.
The human being is intrinsically rewarded for sharing and receiving.
If I only share, I’m left with self-doubt. If I only receive, emptiness lingers. This doesn’t go for giving or getting gifts, I’m purely talking about interacting and learning with others.
The joy of learning is found in the EXCHANGE!
Fulfilled and empowered individuals contribute to the learning and development of the community. The broader the community, the fuller the empowerment.
It’s so easy to only consume. Our culture preys on the consumer. “Netflix Binge!” It sounded like a wonderful idea while I repeatedly clicked “play next episode”. Then I woke up the next morning on 3 hours of sleep and realized my over-consumption had descended me into a pit of darkness. “Pit of darkness” may be a bit heavy, but I was far from satisfaction and/or inspiration.
Wisdom requires an experience and a response. Knowledgeable and wise are quite different.
Where we fail is attempting to drink from the firehose of consumerism. Often consumerism drapes on a prideful and competitive front! I know, I can browse enviously as I scroll through every product on Amazon. I can also make a strong argument to my wife for why I must own every one of those items! In this moment I am realizing Amazon Prime is the devil! (For the record I’m keeping my Prime account – 2 DAY SHIPPING!)
Of course I have many more examples of personal bouts with consumerism. Although I’ll stop because it’s obvious I’ve been transparent enough.
In the Classroom
Today the student says, “Show me the video, lend me the book, hand me the paper, give me the grade.”
I’m doing my best to lecture less and give feedback more. I hope to start a conversation and spark an exploration. May we experience together and contribute to the conversation!
“The Exchange” is the only route to rich education.