"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

12 January 2017


Your teacher cannot bridge the gap between what you know and what you want to know. For his words to ‘educate’ you, you must welcome them, think about them, find somewhere for your mind to organize them, and remember them. Your learning is your job, not your teacher’s job. And all you need to start with is desire. You don’t need a schoolteacher to get knowledge – you can get it from looking at the world, from watching films, from conversations, from reading, from asking questions, from experience.

People who have never gone to school have never developed negative attitudes toward exploring their world. Unfortunately, you probably have. It’s not your fault if you don’t immediately want to run out and watch ladybugs with a magnifying glass. It might take time before your desire to learn surfaces from beneath the layers of guilt – the voices insisting, I should learn this, I have to learn that. Give yourself time. Don’t push. You’ll recover.

In the end, the secret to learning is so simple: forget about it. Think only about whatever you love. Follow it, do it, dream it. One day, you will glance up at your collection of Japanese literature, or trip over the solar oven you built, and it will hit you: learning was there all the time, happening by itself.

Grace LLewellyn

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