The process of trial and error is one that is both a blessing and a curse. No matter what the effect of what we are attempting is, we can learn something from the outcome. Through this process, we can omit the things we are sure to not work in favor of the desired outcome. More specifically, we can come closer to seeing what does work by looking at what doesn’t.
I’ve always been interested in what unlocks a person’s ability for growth. What kind of things does it take to awaken a person’s passion for higher learning and improvement? On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are some things that will no doubt inhibit someone’s growth, whether inward or outward. Here are some things that I believe are surefire ways of inhibition.
There are many theories of why humans evolved the way the did in response to certain things. One of these questions involve language and the social interactions between us. There is no doubt that we are social creatures and through working together we can accomplish some pretty outstanding things. It seems that the better able we are to communicate the more progress we make. Computers, phones, and media are a testament to this; knowledge is widespread.
At the base of the large things though is the basic forms of communication, namely, body language and speaking. There are many forms of language and many forms of body language. Many people react differently to situations and thus there can be a great amount of variation.
A narrow language will only inhibit our ability to grow. By not being able to communicate, our ability to gain social relationships is greatly diminished. Extreme cases of this would be those with Autism. Autistic individuals usually have a hard time making and maintaining friendships.
By broadening our language, we can broaden our ability to interact in a world that is getting smaller everyday and our interaction with ideas is greatly increased.
2. Lost Sense of Self
Without a strong sense of self, the passion for growth is undermined. This is because there is a lacking in a direction, a lacking in a sense of purpose. Without purpose, a person will find it difficult to begin something as they will find little meaning in doing so.
There are many times where our sense of self is thrown into a loop, most predominantly in the adolescent ages. This is a time when our body and mind is changing drastically and things that we thought we knew are questioned greatly.
During this time, questioning is essential. Even though a sense of self is not greatly established, a wandering and curious mind will help to find and establish this self. This is a time when the tough questions should be asked: What is happiness, who am I, what do I want out of this life? Attempting with courage to answer these questions will help a person rise out of their rut.
3. Insinuation of Falsity
This is an outward inhibition of growth, beyond a person’s control. This is one for the teachers of the world. An insinuation of falsity is responding to a person’s question or thought in such a way as to imply either greatly or subtlely that they are wrong. This action kills inquiry of any kind. A curious person will soon lose their luster if they are constantly led to believe that anything that diverges from the path will inherently be false. They will follow with zombie-like enthusiasm, being led by others and not following through with the questions they may have.
A good teacher is one that does not give an answer, but converses in such a way as to help the inquirer find the answer on their own. A good teacher presents ideas, not truth, presents thought, not dogma.
4. Condemnation of Exploration/Creativity
This certain point is a very large one. An environment that makes exploration and creativity morally wrong is one that will eventually grow stale and crumble. This is true for any kind of environment, whether it be a large community or small school.
The condemnation of thought is something that goes against the natural act of what it means to be human. You can easily control a person if you can convince them that what they are is wrong.
Especially in the case of a school. A school should be working to instill a passion for learning in a student. When you condemn exploration of thought, however, you create zombies who don’t actively take part in their learning. It may be the case that they do well or do horribly, but all are slaves to the thought of others.
Schools should look not at grades, but at progress. We all start at different points and grow in different ways. It only follows that a certain way of teaching will not work for everyone. A good teacher should be looking for ways to help the student progress and find their learning style, not condemning every thought that diverges from their set path.
A society of exploration is a society of growth and progress, a society of learning.
Ideas, not truth.
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