“Pride comes before a fall and personal growth raises your self esteem”. These two events become a dynamic that becomes our checks and balances of where we are in our personal mastery of life. Sounds like a great, poetic mouthful, but what does it all mean? I came from a philosophy class feeling quite tired out trying to decipher the good professor’s well meaning ways. It took me all of 2 hours of mental agony to create the above summary in parenthesis. I did it simply to compare notes between the ‘studied’ and the old fashioned experiential ways hence this story.
It was pride that led me to that great old dame of a university (I won’t say which one). You see, it was a challenge from a friend and utmost curiosity on my part which made me attend this class. But I’ll admit I have a bias against learning the latest and greatest especially in business from universities simply because they cannot teach experience that has a proven track record and works in the present. Rare are the professors who have proven what they do from a classroom. But in this case, since I was always learning anyway, why not attend this class and find out for myself if philosophy here works in my world?
Within the first hour, I realised that what is being taught here I had little to no reading experience about. Like a fish out of water, I could not even answer the so called simplest questions about the notable figures of the required reading authors. That’s mainly because I have never heard of them. My awkward try at answers was of course the object of mirth for the class. And yes, the professor was quite merciless too. His was to show I know nothing of philosophy his way. And that was so true.
And yes, he did practically destroy any pride I had about being well prepared in any philosophical classroom study. And as I observed this very strange phenomenon, I began to smile and share in the mirth of my inadequacy. Yes, it was becoming fun. I was actually learning a new way of presenting a course. Pick on the least prepared student and make a lesson of it. It worked. All the students were taking pot shots at me with their knowledge. Therefore, with all the information and highlights of the subject being thrown out, everyone had no choice but to learn. My pride fell and the professor’s pride rose…astronomically. Yes, the professor showed me up. Anyone can read that from his demeanour.
Personal Growth Is Beyond Pride
Should I blow up and make everything a disaster to my reputation and his? I can tell you, it was mighty tempting! But I decided to give it a beautiful wish and desire that this whole episode will become a great learning experience that turns out right.
My teachers, or shall I say my mentors used to say that when I decide to listen, I listen well. And so I did. After being lambasted for most of the morning, the good professor decided to take it all up a notch and made a class participation of returning a paper and the perfect summary of their experience of the day in class.
Now, one of the things and techniques anyone can use, and with practice look like a genius is this: When you want to learn, take notes using white paper and blue ink. Focus deeply in alpha as you write your notes. With practice, you can retain 99% or more of the details, regardless of your age. So, you already know I had all the details properly presented on paper.
The professor, my hat off to him, was duly impressed and he declared thus to the class. And for the final summary, “Pride comes before a fall and personal growth raises your self esteem” was really just my way of saying to him what I thought and felt without embarrassing him or me. So, we shook hands at the end of the day and we each have made a new respected friend. Have a nice day prof…