We Should Never Graduate

A friend of mine posted this quote on Facebook yesterday (an old friend of recent re-acquaintance).  I couldn’t walk away from my own thoughts about its implications, and my complicity – in both positive and negative ways  – over the years.  You know me well enough to know that I have yet to transcend my own limitations, unable to keep my mind still long enough to even utter a mantra;  I am not about to denounce a material world which has afforded my family a comfortable lifestyle, and some accessories which make my sloppy outfits look well-considered.  In other words, before you jump up in defense of capitalism and financial success as a social definitive – sit down.  I’m not arguing with you.

I am however, absolutely passionate about my belief that learning is a lifelong exercise, and organizational leaders are in the position to educate all the time.  I’ll go a step farther – they have an imperative to educate.  And with that in mind I have got to ask you – what are you teaching?  Does your department, company, organization commit to moral management or success-at-any-cost?  Are you developing people’s abilities to complement their career progression or are you focused on the immediate needs which you find critical to meet?  Are we defining our own personal success primarily by the amount of money we make (with the caveat that we are earning what we need to and perhaps a bit more)  or are there any other markers that we value as much?  More importantly, do we inculcate that philosophy to the people that we are charged with developing and growing?

What are the stories of compassion that balance the perpetual theme of acquiring stuff?  How well-rounded are the people we know and work with?  Where do the paths of wisdom and management-speak meet?  I may not be articulating this well – I am trying to avoid the cliché of saying that we all do the right thing everyday, and instead suggest that compassion, morality, critical thought are as essential to the development of a thriving workforce than any other issues of which we speak.  And it takes thought and planning and commitment to the larger theme of lifelong education.  Challenging our children, our friends, ourselves to consider where we are placing our priorities as we enter in and out of the chapters of our lives.  That to me, is what reading the whole book is all about.

24 thoughts on “We Should Never Graduate

  1. For me, this brings to mind that great George Bernard Shaw quote, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I often marvel at the educational opportunities I received (and sometimes squandered) in my younger days, and I often crave the ‘do over.’ 😉 But you’re absolutely right, education doesn’t stop at graduation–in fact, it’s just beginning, and we can still learn so much! Thx for the morning, tweak, Mimi–thought-provoking as always!!

    • Hi Lori – I hope you got my thank you post yesterday – I was ‘ferklempt’ the rest of the day..:-) I too sometimes wish for a ‘do over’, but really feel that we are responsible for shaping the narrative so that moral success, critical thought and collaborative effort is valued as much as the dollar and the competition for it. Have a wonderful day my ‘happy’ friend!! Sign me, the ‘gentle’ one…:-)

  2. Another homerun! I am slightly sluggish this AM after attending a retirement party for 4 former colleagues with more than 100 years of educational experience between them. They will be remembered, I heard it said repeatedly last night, for setting the bar high and challenging their students to meet it, for providing risk-free environments where children can learn every day, and for calling out the kid who needed a greater dose of gently guidance to learn right from wrong. They were acknowledged for setting a tone that promoted and encouraged the development of kind human beings and they certainly will be remembered for going above and beyond as they realized the need to intertwine what goes on outside the classroom with what takes place within it. Four very different women, making four very different footprints, but all committed to guiding their students in the direction of beginning to recognize their priorities. Only time will bare out their success in that endeavor, but if I were to bet on it, the kids who were lucky enough to experience the captivating classrooms of these 4 woman have a truly great chance of going the distance. You can retire from going to work everyday, but I don’t think you can retire from teaching, learning and mentoring if you are a human being with a conscience. And, I don’t think this is unique to teachers alone. I am sure the parallels are there in the business world. You see, I have a very dear friend who writes a daily blog 🙂 that starts my day off by challenging me to use my brain and think outside the box (actually my favorite place) and whom I imagine did the same for the people she supervised with kindness, compassion and dignity (hers and theirs).

    • I would imagine that one of the greatest memories for these four teachers was seeing you there Jo…Thinking out of the box, you say? I’m not sure I’ve ever located the box – that’s my problem!! Love you kiddo and love how you have always been there for those who you hold near and dear..

  3. Great post Mimi, I too am a firm believer that we can learn something new each day. I love the picture and saying ” life is about using the whole box of crayons”. I wonder if anyone does? I always remember that several crayons wore down quickly, some not so quickly, and them there were always a few that were never used. I haven’t had a box of crayons on years maybe I should pick one up and see how I do…. 🙂

    • What a great idea Tina!! Really! Get the box of 64 – wasn’t that the biggest box available? And perhaps each color can represent something new – an idea, a thought, a moment in the day…I may do this…:-)

  4. I am teaching math mostly, but I make sure that I am teaching a kindness and positivity as well. No one is allowed to say anything unkind in my math room. It isn’t much, but I am hoping they will one day remember the crazy teacher who asked them to be kind and begin to ask the same of themselves and others.

  5. Mimi…..I swear I love when you post something that makes us step back and think and take a look at the bigger picture! I am glad that you and a lot of the bloggers that responded to your post have a good understanding of life! It is so much more than educating ourselves with the obvious necessities. It’s taking it a bit further and realizing it is a life long task!

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