Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Learning In Every Form

Today I am in Belleville taking a course on therapeutic relationships and the effects of complex trauma. I find that no matter how much study, research, and real-life experience one is exposed to, there is always something more you can learn or improve upon. Sometimes when I am in the position of being taught by someone recognized as an authority, I find myself interposing my own values and philosophies and questioning a lot of what I am being taught. Do you? Is this a bad thing?

I have heard quite a lot of people say that it is wrong or disrespectful to question authority, but I think I disagree. We should take hold of what anyone tells us (in person, in writing, or through whatever medium) and turn it over, examine it closely, critique it, take it apart and assimilate what is true and useful, then discard or store away the rest. In doing so, we take ownership of what we know and believe, and can better appropriate / apply it to our own circumstances.

In this case I am learning a lot of psychology and child development theories that conflict with my own deeply held convictions and start from a completely different worldview, but still I am finding truths and strategies that are incredibly useful for my success in parenting and relationships. I believe in absolute truth, and truth can be found in many places. We know that the most deceptive errors are those that contain some truth, and if we can clearly discern where the error lies we can still recognize and glean the grains of truth from those things.

My encouragement, then, is to search for truth wherever it can be found. Be open to learning something new and useful even from sources that are less than ideal. After all, a prophet named Balaam once received a divine message from an ass. Seek wisdom, love learning, discern truth.