“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.”
I picked up this quote from Eric Wagner, Ph.D. when he was discussing the intricacies of the counseling process. I like this quote because it speaks to my experience as a therapist, a father, a husband, and a person. Through education, we are able to pick up a variety of different lenses in which to view the world. The more time spent in the educational process, whether through high school, college or at the hands of your own reading list, we are collecting different ways that people perceive the same event. This is a far cry from where we started in our development as a person; the only lens being our internal experience.
The tone of the quote is also something that I feel is worth emulating. The end result of education should not be arrogance towards experience, but rather a calm curiosity for what can be new. The possibility of viewing each experience through a variety of lenses is fascinating and not tedious. Time for anger or self-doubt quickly passes as you switch perspectives to help you make sense of your initial reaction. We do this through following Frost’s advice; “listen.” It is through listening and not hearing that we are able to experience. Simple words that have so much meaning to them.
Apply his advice to your life and find new sources of education so that you can add to your repertoire of lenses – whether through a new class, a new book, or simply the wisdom of another. Take each opportunity to become more “educated.”
-Logan Williamson, LPC