“There are partyers and larners.”
The woman carefully instructed the young college student. “You are going to find partyers (holding up her left hand) and larners(holding up her right hand.) Her twang and emphasis on “larners: caught my attention. She went on to tell him one day the partyers will be here (lowering her left hand) and the larners will be here (raising her right hand).
The student sat quietly and then said, “I guess I am a larner.” She smiled broadly.
She wasn’t a professor. In her conversation, she told him she didn’t even have a high school diploma. BUT, she was so very wise. And the visual way she expressed her point got his attention. He was feeling down because he didn’t feel he belonged at the school. After their talk he walked away convinced he was indeed a “larner” and that he would one day be on the side of the upraised hand.
My Dad used to talk to me about “paying the price” for accomplishment. There is sacrifice attached to achievement.
We choose our groups and we then choose the results. Decisions have consequences and outcomes. Certainly, those who opt for partying can change course and grow up, but those who walk the path of “larning” rarely regret it.
I walked away thankful for that woman whose formal education was quite limited, but her life experiences and wisdom had great depth. It encouraged me to take time to sit down with younger ones, listening to their stories and supporting them in their journey.
And it challenged me to continue stretching – for “larning” doesn’t have an end point.