Teaching That Takes Something Away

When both of our sons were learning to eat solid food, they would occasionally stuff so much in their mouths that they could no longer eat.  The only way forward was to take all the food out and start again.  Teaching them to eat, then, meant taking food away.

The best teachers, I think, do something similar.  If a learner is stuck on a limiting belief or an idol of the mind, the savvy teacher does not add more input.  Instead, she works to relieve the learner of the limitation.  Once this idol is removed, the learner has more space to see what is real.

Frustratingly, our brains protect these idols with brutal force, namely through confirmation bias, making giving up limiting beliefs uniquely difficult.  The idol’s bodyguards can live inside the texture of our own thinking. 

While difficult, relinquishing a limiting way of thinking is some of the most important learning we can do.  Giving up the “information” that limits our intelligence, imagination, and love can save our lives.