As a carpenter, I sometimes have apprentices. As a teacher I have to try to imagine what they are going to do, so I can stop them when they might cut their finger in two instead of the peace of wood. I have to look at their movements and expressions in the face, is it showing doubt, or confidence? They can both be dangerous.
Outside of these kinds of teacher vs student situations, we also like to “imagine” the movements of the people we meet and live with. We are specially interested in the movements of their thoughts, and like to predict them, and why they do the things they do. The problem is that we don’t like to be judged like a student when we talk with the people we meet and/or care about. There are of course all kinds of signals that can lead the astute observer to predict what the other thinks or is going to do. Just read stories about con artists and their ability to “read” people. But it is not polite to do it, at-least not to much.
The biggest problem we face while we interpret the other, is our own lack of objectivity. When I tell my apprentice not to put their finger at this or that place, and I see their finger starting to move their, I can intervene. I know from my own objective experience that your finger wants to go there, but you have to resist that urge, that’s what I have to teach the apprentice, and I can do this objectively. When they are young they will often complain and tell me that they know that, but their body language tells different, and to protect their fingers I have to insist and tell them that they are wrong.
As a teacher you have, most of the time, more knowledge, and because of this you can “predict” what your apprentice is going to do. The problem is that there are no teachers in life, or living. We are all apprentices, and as such it is difficult to maintain a healthy teacher vs student relation with anybody when the thing you have to learn is…living. There are many people that have really good ideas about life, and they can be worth it to be studied and taken serious. But good advice is not life, even Gandhi had horrible idea’s, and mother Teresa is also no saint in all regards.
Life is a project we are all working on in our own pace, and we will meet a lot of people that know a shortcut to finish life’s project, but look around, and look at the state of the world. It is better then before but there was never and is not now, someone that has finished “project life”…without cutting their fingers.
Today writing was inspired by a poem I wrote for Day 1400