We’re More Ignorant than Ever and Here’s Why

We have access to more information than ever, yet we remain uninformed.

“The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptance.”  

-Nathaniel Branden

 

Reality. We have the exhausting task of dredging through the sludge of information.

It’s also why we’re able to connect so well to Lewis Carroll’s “rabbit hole” in Alice in Wonderland. In today’s culture we, like Alice, free fall down this deep complex hole of information overload.

This is why the industry of minimalism exists. This is why minimalism is so attractive yet so difficult to achieve.

Too Much Information = Ignorance

How?

Somehow as we have acquired access to unlimited information, we have also acquired greater ignorance. This is counterintuitive. How can we now have the ability to know everything instantly, but it still doesn’t dispel ignorance?

Responsiveness is the key. I recently read that there are three requirements to being responsive. They are caring, validation, and understanding. I think I could summarize those three into one act. Listening. If you’re truly listening, you are caring about what you hear. You are validating or confirming the information. Through your validation you come to a place of understanding. So why must it be so hard to listen?

Like minimalism, a whole industry for listening can be found in the self-help sector.

 

Awareness

Both minimalism and active listening preach awareness. I love that in biblical times the people would name places and landmarks based on the experience they had there. What an exclamation of awareness! In Genesis 34 Jacob labels the place El Bethel because it was where God revealed himself to him. Even their given names were changed based on their experiences. After wrestling with God, don’t you think Jacob’s eyes were opened when his name was changed to Israel, because he struggled with God and humans and he overcame (Genesis 32). His identity was built on that awareness.

We can take it a step further to see God even identified with numerous different names depending on the characteristics he was exhibiting. I’m jealous of the clarity these biblical people portrayed. This clarity requires a humble awareness in recognizing the circumstances one is facing and their response to that experience.

When I’m consumed with every piece from every informational feed I grow tired. When I’m tired in this world I lose my awareness. When I lose my awareness I grow self-serving and greedy. After falling down this rabbit-hole I find myself ignorant and unresponsive.

 

Name Your Experience

Reflect on your current circumstance, what would you name it? Name it, accept it, and trust God to lead you through it. In what area have you lost awareness? It’s a constant struggle and we need guidance.

We’re a kinder, more thoughtful people when we take time to reflect on our experiences.

May we be more self-aware, relationally-aware, and culturally-aware.

 

Yearning: One Emotion Every Student Brings To School

This post is a follow up to “The Three Emotions Every Student Brings to School

 

What do kids yearn for? Answers. Same as adults, although we that are grown aren’t as persistent.

The Conflict

Yearning is a conflict in contradictions. We want to be honest yet hidden. We want to make others laugh yet we don’t want to be laughed at. We wan

t to be taken seriously, yet not too seriously. We want to be loved, yet from a distance. We want to be known, yet remain private.

Each is a battle and they’re all rooted in one fact. We are created in God’s image and likeness, yet we carry our human nature in a fallen world of sin.

No wonder why each carries a seed of strong yearning.

Giving Answers and Stealing Wonder

I want to know the best answer and I want to trust it. I see children aching with the same desire. They want to know the best answer and they want to trust it.

So what do we do? We let them find their answers when they are curious. Let them find their answers. As adults, we tend to chip away at the inquisitiveness of our kids. We provide sharp, concrete answers way to often. The child takes those answers, trusts them, and finds no room to discover their own conclusions. When framed answers are delivered and the learner trusts those answers completely, the magic of inquiry fades.

I don’t want to steal our children’s curiosity and wonder. It’s one of the most beautiful traits of the young. It’s hard to tread lightly this way. I steal their questions and squash them with a rote, mundane response. The child will usually give me numerous chances, asking the same question many times. Offering no room for discovery I simplify my answer even more, every time. Finally the student either trusts my answer or loses a desire to explore and know themselves. I steal their curiosity and wonder. With this I hinder their growth and development. The only thing that is grown in the student is ignorance. The last thing this world needs is another ignorant generation. Look at today’s headlines to see what ignorance breeds.

 

Keep Them Yearning

If you know anything about me from my blog or ebook you know that I value the learner’s curiosity and inquiry. With these a child’s yearning should be met. Not with my sorry excuse for an answer.

How do we foster curiosity and inquiry? If you’d like to explore deeper, I’ve linked a prior post related to each strategy.

  1. Create a safe environment through relationship.
  2. Invite inquiry and promote exploration.
  3. Do not spit simple finite answers but allow the student to draw their own conclusions.

May you find purpose in your yearning.

 

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Matthew 5:6

Fear: One Emotion Every Child Brings to School

This post is a follow up to “The Three Emotions Every Student Brings to School”

Which Fear is for You?

There are two forces we can choose to fear.

The first choice is the disappointments and devastations of the sinful world. The nature of our flesh magnifies every uncertainty, the not knowing breeds fear.

The second option we can choose to fear is the almighty goodness and 

power of God. 1 Samuel 12:24 says, “Only fear the LORD and

 serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.”

The tricky thing about fear is that we have to constantly choose between these two forces. Fear is a continued tactic of the enemy. It simply locates one’s weaknesses an

d insecurities and latches on with the squeeze of a vice. Even now, as I consider the debilitating affect fear presses on us, I experience an honest worry for the future path our students face.

Helping Our Children Overcome Fear

1. Help the student know their worth.

What are the truths we show the students about themselves? Do they hear that they are valued and worthy of love?

This takes constant effort in removing judgement and inserting grace. I know there are days I’ve failed my students in this. I’ve acted out of frustration and irritation causing the children to view themselves as a nuisance rather than a person of great worth.

In his book The Heroic Path John Sowers wrote, “The enemy knows if he can separate us from our true name, our identity, and our place, we will derail. Often times his work is finished after that, we destroy ourselves.” We must help our students identify their identity and hold t

hem accountable to that. Are they being the best version of themselves?

2. Help the student know they’re not alone.

Are we fostering a community that supports and comforts every member? Not one should feel isolated, not one should journey alone. We were created to journey life together. The community should bring joy to the experience.

 

Fear can either be found in the horror of this world or one can fear the almighty power of the creator of this world. The latter being a much healthier option.

3 Emotions Every Student Brings to School

Prepare to be uplifted and encouraged for I am about to reveal the three emotions every student is feeling at any given moment! Just think how this information will allow you to support and connect with your kids!

And the three emotions every child feels every day are: (drumroll…)

fear, grief, and yearning.

What? Not what you were hoping for? I know, it’s a real knee to the nuts! How encouraged are we feeling now?

On the surface these three appear to be paralyzing, debilitating. When actually fear, grief, and yearning are our formula for moving forward and growing. Let’s take a moment to recognize the truth in this.

I’m no psychologist, so I’ll first allow you to validate the three emotions in yourselves.

Find These Three In You

Fear: Simply think of your goals. Now reflect on the reasons they haven’t been met. You’ll probably find fear being a major culprit. Fear’s job is to protect us from any suffering, pain, or distress. Too often Fear works overtime and pummels us into a submission of worry.

Grief: Reflect on your personal well of loss. You can dig up the heavy sludge of deep sorrow related to family brokenness or death. Yet still, you can find grief in the day-to-day annoyances or troubles where a personal privilege or joy has been taken away.

Yearning: I hope you can find a longing for something inside you because this is the only emotion of the three with a touch of positive connotation. How is your yearnings connected to the grief and fear you’ve experienced? Closely, I’d guess.

We first must recognize fear, grief, and yearning in ourselves and others before we suddenly have a moment like this:

-Is this similar to exchanges you’ve had with students?

What’s a Teacher to Do?

  1. Recognize the emotion and develop an awareness of the overwhelming sources for their emotions. Compassion will ensue. You will like your students so much more when you identify the three roots of their behaviors.
  2. Offer mercy and grace because the child is experiencing fear, grief, and yearning.

Teaching’s a daunting task, breathing intimidation in every moment. But when we recognize the fears, griefs, and yearnings in every child the intimidation is suffocated. You have great reason to be compassionate, merciful, and a giver of grace. It’s not easy, but it is worth it!

 

Stay tuned or subscribe because there’ll be posts to come focused on each of these three emotions!

Fear: One Emotion Every Child Brings to School