Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stretch Your Thinking

Day 15 of 29 Days of Spiritual Messages.

Our inspiration for today comes from Confucius, the Chinese philosopher who lived between 551 BCE - 479 BCE.

Even when walking in the company of two other men, I am bound to be able to learn from them. The good points of the one I copy; the bad points of the other I correct in myself."

According to Confucius, it is important for us to stretch our thinking. When we do, we learn.

If one learns from others but does not think, one will be continually confused.

If one thinks but refuses to learn from others, then one will remain narrow-minded and in ignorance.

But if we open ourselves to what others have to teach us, we become more well-rounded in our thinking. Some teachings will resonate with us; some may not. Some we will want to apply to our lives; some we won't. Either way, whether we agree or disagree, we are to respect the process and one another.

Learning can happen in any moment from any source. For Confucius, learning occurs "even when walking in the company of two other men." Whatever is present in our reality at that particular moment can serve as a teacher when we open ourselves up to the experience.

Learning doesn't have to take place in a formal setting like a school or a university; it can happen in the most common of places. Teaching doesn't have to come from professors; it can come from the common man, woman, child, animal, place, or thing. 

When we choose to become students in the open classroom of life, we find ourselves "bound to be able to learn" from life's teachers, whoever and whatever those teachers may be. Our learning will be much more meaningful when we acknowledge that life sends many kinds of teachers.

Our teachers ultimately lead us to ourselves. They reflect who we are. When we see the "good points," we will want to emulate them, copying them into the script of our lives. However, when we see the "bad points," we are to "correct them" within ourselves.  We don't necessarily erase them from our lives, but we work to transform them as part of our learning. 

If we are to learn anything, we must be in a state of readiness.

As the adage goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.


  1. It is good to learn from others n strength from others...but some lessons I shy or ignore from others..BC just the state that I am in I don't want their help at the time...yet I know there is a lesson to be learn....I just have to put my ego aside ....I'm still learning that n to let go...

    1. True, the ego can play a big part in keeping us from learning what we need to learn. It's not always easy. But you are doing great!