Thursday, March 6, 2014
what smiling is for ... :)
For example, in an era of what might be called corporate education, learning is linked to the work and sustenance and social cohesion it can create. Schools are arm-wrestled into "teaching to the test" -- a means of assuring that students have at least a base-line competence in reading, writing and 'rithmatic. And there is something to be said for a community in which everyone is not dumber than a box of rocks. So in one sense, education has a purpose and meaning and goal.
But in another sense, learning that is for something else can hardly be called learning at all. Things that are for something else or are imbued with meaning and importance are limited and the mind that learns suffers from no such limitation. The mind is alive with zooming and sometimes incongruous possibility. It can fly to Singapore in a nanosecond and raise cattle in the Andes and transform water into wine and crush an enemy and dive to the depths of despair and bless the multitudes and whistle a happy tune ... all without getting out of bed in the morning.
In one sense, the practical and in-control will point out that it's all for something, that without being for something, things have no meaning. But is this sort of corporate mentality the end of the story? I doubt it.
A two-by-four is both for the framing of a house, perhaps, and, in another sense, it is just a two-by-four ... and pretty damned magical into the bargain. Knowing what a two-by-four is and how to use it is a pretty good piece of learning. But if that's all that can be said for it or learned from it ... isn't that a recipe for incarceration and sorrow? Knowing is wonderful, but does that mean that the shadow truth of what-is-not-known is somehow less compelling or, worse, frightening? Just because a bird rests on a telephone wire does not mean that bird cannot fly ... indeed must fly ... otherwise how could it be a bird?
I guess I just think that taking a little time with things that are not for something else eases the human burden and has the capacity to put a smile on the lips.
Thought, word and deed ... maybe that's what smiling's for. :)