“GOOD TEACHERS AND BAD TEACHERS”
There are some misinformed and arrogant teachers in this world. I'm not just talking about elementary, junior high, or high school teachers, or professors in college. I’m also talking about everyday people who believe that the best way to impart their knowledge onto others is through intimidation, fear and punishment. They almost always use force and guilt, instead of gravitating to the kinder side of reward and encouragement. It’s possible that when these people were children, they were either taught by others in abusive ways, or they saw an example of teaching that was abusive. This is how they were taught, so this is how they teach others now. It’s as if they try to educate browbeaten and unwilling students in a one room class with no windows, light, or fresh air and their main educational tool is a psychic ruler across the hands of anyone who dare question them. These are usually people who need to think that they are always right.
I heard once that you can understand why a dog who had been abused since puppyhood would want to bite you, but it is still unwise to put your hands anywhere near its teeth. I try to remember this whenever I come across anyone who is trying to teach me something in a way that I feel is wrong or harmful to me.
I'm not saying that I have never been an arrogant teacher, or an ungrateful student, but I am trying my best to learn a better way to teach and to learn. In some ways, all of us are both teachers and students. We share our experiences and the things that we’ve learned in life with those around us, whether we are consciously aware of it or not. Through invisible waves of thoughts, images and feelings, we all communicate with others without even uttering a word.
There are some people who have learned to teach in gentle, wise, and patient ways. Their kindness creates a ripple effect that encircles their students and branches out to those students' children, grandchildren, and on to generations and generations to follow. I have been fortunate enough to have come into contact with quite a few of these wonderful teachers. Some of them write books and some of them are just psychically teaching in grocery stores and other public places. I often wonder if they are even conscious of the wonderful influence they have on others.
There are also those other people who have already been through what you are experiencing and have survived to teach others what they have learned about it. I may pass someone in a grocery store that has been through something similar to what I’m going through. In one moment, energy passing from them to me and back to them again, could bring more profound healing in my life than anything else I could encounter. I believe that this is just something that human beings do naturally.
The best teacher I have ever come across is God. If I am having a hard time learning something, I pray to God to teach me. I believe that when we pray to God to teach us he connects us to those people, spirits, nature, and other energies that teach us in kind and gentle ways. I have experienced this so many times.
When I was a child I had a white cat. It just kind of found its way into our home one day. I’m not sure how this cat had been treated by humans before she found a home in our basement one stormy night, but I have the feeling that she had probably been horribly abused. Almost as soon as we took her in, she started attacking and scratching me and my siblings, until our arms and legs were bleeding. One day when my father could take no more, he put the cat in the car and took her to the pound. After my experiences with this white cat, I developed a very real phobia about all white cats. This fear followed me way into my adult life. Whenever I saw a white cat I would start to panic, then quickly turn and walk the other way.
When I was in my late thirties, I prayed to God and talked to him about my fear of white cats. The next day when I took a walk, I spotted a white cat hiding in a bush. I had never seen it in our neighborhood before. I carefully and slowly sat down on the ground and just kind of looked at it. Instantly, the cat started purring and gingerly walked over to me. I felt so much love and gentleness from this animal that I lost all of my fear of it. The mysterious cat stayed for about fifteen minutes and then just walked away. I never saw it in our neighborhood again. After that, I was no longer afraid of white cats. I had been taught that not all white cats were dangerous.
I also pray and ask God to teach me things like how to be a better mother to my children, how to have a better marriage with my husband, or how to find the friends and support that I am supposed to have in my life. I prayed and asked God to teach me the real truth about my own spirituality. Whenever I want to learn something, I just pray and ask God to teach me about it. When I do this, I end up talking to the right people, reading the right articles and books, remember what I’ve learned about the subject in the past, or just somehow knowing more about what I wanted to learn.
I remember all of the things I was taught about God in my childhood. Some of these things were good and some were just down right horrifying. The fearsome God, with his long white beard, standing on billowy clouds, throwing lightning, and condemning people to hell on judgment day has become a thing of the past for me. I have slowly replaced that image with a truer vision of God as a kind and loving entity who teaches with a wise and gentle hand.
I know that I am not the best teacher or the best student in the world. I'm still learning that one. In many ways I’m in kindergarten when it comes to so many things, but I also know that there are things that I’ve learned in my life. I know that we’ve all experienced and learned so much. We learn from our experiences. We learn from everyone we come into contact with, and they learn from us. Learning is an on-going thing that is never really finished.
I trust God to teach me what I need to know.