Judgement, Intuition & Education
What is it in us that chooses to judge others? And why do we close ourselves off from other people, believing that they are wrong, or somehow not good enough. Recently I had been experiencing both incoming and (my own resultant) outgoing judgment. I had stepped into some unfamiliar territory and had noticed that my uncertainty (while finding my feet in a shifting technological world) was sometimes palpable. I have chosen to work in the physical field of craft all of my life, and so I acknowledge that what I can relay is based not only on what is in my head but also from the knowledge of what is in my hands…so that is my foundation. Plus I have found that, when teaching, as Greg McKeown, author of “Essentialism,” has said: “authority is earned not forced…”
When interacting with others in general and especially in teaching I try to allow the outside world to permeate without too many filters on, to let myself be less closed because I have learned that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain from staying more open. And within my work life I am not that invested in wearing the cultural mask of “experienced” and therefore approach a task such as teaching by acknowledging and reminding myself to “see yourself as a student,”* knowing that the world is changing rapidly and that I am simply bringing to it my knowledge of craft from a foundational place. Yet the experience of creativity and craft itself can lead us to potentially deeper levels of awareness, both personal and material. This is because craft or creativity in general engages us in fundamental aspects of ourselves: the use and awareness of our senses and body as we interact with the world.
Lately, new approaches to education, such as that being taught at Stanford University’s “d.school,” —an innovative design school, that uses unorthodox, tactile, and direct access to solve design / business problems— encourages individuals to tap into the quiet base of knowledge that exists within the situation. This path of moving beyond and away from what is officially taught in most schools, allows for intuition, paradox and feelings to have relevance when making decisions or indeed to let these prevail when our minds and normal approach is to discount them. This approach in regular life is not always easy. It can be difficult and uncomfortable. Nonetheless, I find it to be important to continue on through the discomfort, even if we get judged for not conforming to the usual way of doing things.
Certainly most of us struggle with trying to find our own way in a wildly changing world. Meanwhile we often have to work within a specific set of rules or in my case, teach a specific digital curriculum. This new digital world surrounding every task can at times seem to drop us into a foreign country where we no longer speak the same language as people ten or twenty years younger than us. The internet has brought many good things, but at times the results of social media and the lack of accountability for our actions or words there can create tendencies to perceive only the surface of things. As a byproduct, bullying seems to have become a default action in our culture. As we feel the sting of being judged and not seen, one can be sensitive to the tense faces of those who silently maintain walls instead of bridges to uphold their opinions and also feel a wave of disappointment. Yet to these judgement bringers I am grateful for they have given me the opportunity to see what at times I do to others. When someone has stepped in our path and seemingly snatched something away from us, or judged us prematurely, how easy it is to take it personally, yet they are possibly not doing it to hurt, they are just humans, protecting what they have, and at the root, simply seeking their own personal happiness.
When we are being judged it may be time to find what it is that is really important for us, and to act from that place of calm, inner assurance, realizing that, that in itself can be taught, by holding true to our inner principles of kindness and generosity, no matter the person, medium, subject or situation we may find ourselves in.
OF PAIN AND TRIAL
In this tumbling into days,
This racing to catch the sun
Before it dips behind the mountains
What Have I learned?
That fear and uncertainty
Lets loose a flood of archer’s arrows
From behind the stockade
To pick off the defenders of the open heart.
Carrying my own quiver
Full of darts, bolts and javelins
I shoot not a oneInstead listen
For the hidden trickle
Of those words: Nock, draw, loose
And so step aside
Dodge the volleys of flaming fire
From those who protect
Their own wounded hearts
At all costs
I come not seeking stardom, not glory,
Not the thrill of the winNo, just the silent
Opening of my heartTo the quiet knowledge
That only enters
When pierced through of pain and trial.
poem c November 15, 2019