I got up early this morning; the heat was making it difficult for me to sleep. As the tea was steeping, I prepared a simple breakfast ad, just as I was setting it out on the table, Dharma arrived on my lily pad. Right on time, as always. "Good morning, Sir. It's good to see you. Isn't this heat something else?" I queried. "Tadpole, I've been around a great many summers and I can't ever remember a summer that was this hot!" he replied. Dharma says this to me every summer but I do think it's especially true this summer.
As we sat down to eat, I mentioned to Dharma that my little brother Quigley was already starting to dread going back to school and that his school didn't start for more than a month. Dharma smiled and reminded me that I was exactly the say way when I was his age. "Tadpole, life is kind of like going to school. We are always learning new things; some by choice and some are just hard lessons that life forces us to learn. Life is all about learning and experiencing new things. Teachers, my boy, open doors for us but each frog must decide for himself whether or not he wants to walk through it." Dharma explained how this works and what it means for all of us.
The world is a big place with many things to see and do, offering us lessons as we travel. Teachers open doors to this world and expose us to things that are new and are often unsettling, be it learning math or visiting a country very different from our own. Teachers have been beyond a students smaller and limited world. And along the way, they have learned a few things that can benefit us in our own journey. teachers can help to calm us by pointing out the possible mistakes we can make in our own travels through life. That is how they open doors for us. They show us what is possible and how it can be of benefit to us in our own lives. But they cannot make us walk through it. That is a decision that we alone must make.
Dharma explained to me that not every door that is opened for us means we need to walk through it. We are free to choose and should learn to choose with care. Often, it fine just to stand on the threshold and see what's on the other side. That may be enough. We might decide that "what's out there" isn't for us. And that's okay. But, Dharma reminded me, how important it is for us to realize that the choice is ours and to take responsibility for that decision.
How can we apply this to all the lessons in our lives? Dharma suggested that every time we are faced with going outside...not the great outdoors...but outside of our comfort zone, we look at it as an opportunity to walk through a new door. Be open to the possibility. At least stand on the threshold and peer through. It's difficult to live with our regrets and more often than not, deciding to walk through that new door shows us something new and exciting! How often have you resisted doing or trying something new only to find out that is was far better than you ever expected it would be?
Humans, as a species, are kind of uneven. You excel at some things and not at others. No one is great at everything, There are times that humans get so excited about something, they don't wait for the teacher to arrive. Instead, they just kick the door open themselves and barge through it. Other times, those same people are more timid and afraid to experience that thing that makes them more uncomfortable. Maybe it's trying new food, or meeting new people. Perhaps it's traveling to a country that vastly different in culture than where they grew up.
Some doors are more appealing than others. That's what makes life interesting. Be cautious though, the appealing doors don't always yield the best experiences. This is where teachers can come in handy. It's good to note that most doors are two way...meaning that if you walk through and don't like what you experience. You can walk back through it...or find another door to open. Teaching us to think for ourselves and to make good choices is what education is all about.
Every day is a new beginning, some doors will open wide while others will close. Everything we do is a decision. And learning from the teachers we are provided in life gives us all the opportunity for growth and advancement.
After Dharma left and I cleaned up the kitchen, I decided to become a teacher myself. So later today, I'll hop over and visit my little brother. I want to teach him some of what Dharma taught me today. Kids are never too young to start learning valuable lessons.
Some of us become teachers as a trade, as a way to earn a living while, at the same time, helping others to explore new possibilities. But everyone is a teacher. We may just not realize it.
I invite you back here tomorrow but, until then, I wish you all