05 December 2005

There but by the Grace of God.....

... You've seen them. I've seen them. The homeless are all around us. I remember reading a talk entitled "Beggars". It is an excellent treatise on loving one another. It illustrates, very well, the blindness in all of us.

I love learning. Formal education has its place, but I think it can sometimes bring a false sense of intelligence. For instance, if you have a PhD in physics, people regard you as "the smart guy". Mostly because they don't understand physics. However, if you were to ask "the smart guy" when it is the best time to harvest dates, or cantaloupes, or why it is important to know what the brix represents, he may not seem so smart. So while an advanced degree may get you a job, it is not an indication of how smart you are.

On to my other point of education. There is a fallacy in the US, and possibly the rest of the domesticated world, that education must cost a lot in order to be worthy. I could not agree less. There are so many things that can be learned without having to write a check for a huge sum of money. Education is all around us. We must be willing to share our knowledge. Once we have learned something, we must be willing to share it with others. Instead of standing on the rule that it is "proprietary knowledge", teach it to someone else. It never hurts anyone to share your knowledge. Be willing to learn where you can learn, or teach where you can teach. I have a friend who is currently living abroad in what we would classify as a third world nation. She meets with a group of students each week to discuss topics. They talk of any subject available, as their focus is to learn English. I can say, with certainty, she is learning more than she is teaching. And no one is exchanging money for the experience. It is good.

Back to the beggars, homeless, less fortunate or what ever label you wish to use. What can we learn from them? More than we would ever expect. Each has a story. Each has knowledge that has value. I stumbled across a website recently through a post at Waiter Rant. He points to this post on enabling the homeless. I learned a lot. You could too, by reading this blog.

Most of all he has the best Christmas Wish List I have ever seen. Go there, see what you could do!