Ditch The Blinders

Ditch the Blinders

I enjoy speaking with folks who have more life experiences than I do, because I learn so much from them. One of those folks is Herman. He and I are fellow Toastmasters and members of the same club. I related to Herman that I find my 98-year old grandfather so resourceful, smart and funny; he is this way despite the fact that he only completed the first grade.

Herman turned to me and said getting an education doesn’t equate to intelligence. He jokingly said he has an engineering degree and it didn’t make him more intelligent. In fact, it taught him how to block things out. We chuckled at this statement, but he certainly got me thinking about this. How many of us suffer from the blinders that come when we get a formal education that forces us to color in the box? This happens everyday. We tell our kids “that is not the way” to do a particular project instead of providing guidance to them for the development of their creative thinking skills. We train them to stay in the line.

I remember struggling with my son to teach him a different way to solve his mathematics homework. He would get upset and say that is not the way the teacher taught the lesson. Being one who likes the subject, I thought the method the teachers were using was so long and didn’t make it easier for the students to grasp the concept. For most of his education my son struggled with math, I didn’t push him in order to maintain my sanity.

It wasn’t until his freshman year that he requested my help. I sat down and showed him different ways of solving the problem than was in the book. He was excited that he finally knows how to solve these problems quickly and in a manner he comprehends. You could say that the blinders had come off for him.

So many of us rob ourselves of experiencing life’s gifts and resources because we have been taught to keep the blinders on. We are programmed with tunnel vision. Like my grandfather, we need to think outside the box and continue from various angles. Ditch the blinders! Let’s give ourselves the freedom to color outside the box and beyond our usual boundaries. I bet we will find some nice surprises that we can share with our future grandchildren and others!

Live a Diamond Life! Live a Life of Purpose!

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2 Comments

  1. Kate McClare

     /  January 25, 2013

    I had the same experience with my kids’ English homework when they were in elementary school! So much for being an “expert,” right? I could only be thankful that at least they respected their teachers.
    By the way, one of my kids has a bachelor’s degree and the other dropped out after a couple of years and worked his way into a job helping to run a local weekly newspaper. They’re both at about the same place in their careers. And both happy, I think.
    Very cool to see you mention Herman!

    Reply
    • Yes. Formal education can be so restrictive at times. Glad to know that your sons are doing well and are happy at what they do. Herman is such a sweetheart. Thanks for the wonderful comment.

      Reply

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