Learning is always a two-way street. We traditionally focus on those who need to learn, but what about those who give instruction? What can and should be done if there is a problem. Do you let things slide? Do you look for the easy way out? Is there always a solution where everyone feels good along the way?
I would love to be able to take a position stating that in all situations I had Solomon’s wisdom and applied the right response in the right way to the each and every learning opportunity. Sadly my own choices, on personal, family, and work levels, have been less than optimal. I look back and wonder about what might have been. I regret lost and squandered opportunities.
In each persons life there are opportunities to learn and grow. Too often I find myself ignoring the present in pursuit of the past or future. Mollie is still a puppy, eager to face life and take on all challengers. Being disciplined and instructive can provide Mollie with an opportunity to live life more fully! If she is indulged she is the one who loses. I look back with thanks at those who gathered the courage to confront me in my younger days. They knew the counsel of the Wise;
“Don’t be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won’t kill them. A good spanking, in fact, might save them from something worse than death.” (Proverbs 23.13, 14)
Spankings are not always physical – verbal disciplines can be just as effective in certain situations. There was a key ingredient that I did not see when I was young. My own insight came through a friend. To paraphrase her words;
“Stones do not fix problems, they only hurt people.”
Learning is about love that is full of mercy, grace, acceptance, fullness, and people. Learning always involves discipline and love. In the present I have the opportunity to learn and teach. In the present I have the opportunity to give life – to others and to myself. Life itself is the real thing we are risking.