When a thing gets done well, it becomes the future
(Mirza Asad’allah Ghalib)
How true. Every single thing learned today becomes the person tomorrow. Every little effort done, no matter how small, becomes an essential part of our self henceforth.
Do you think that our parents, educators, teachers, mentors, coaches, line managers, peers, instructional designers, learning facilitators (aka “trainers”) – in short, all those who instill learning in us, are aware of the mind-blowing importance of every grain of learning matter they sow in our barren field of competence?
I admit that I don’t think most are. All we need is take a good look around us. And see how some parents box their children in, within the confines of their own imprisoned, windowless world view, while others, seemingly voluntarily, give their offspring away to the learning matter presented by randomly surfacing peers, uncritically riding the waves of whatever is hot or cool in the flash of the moment. Or see, how other children are being drowned in an ocean filled to the brim with theunvalues of horror and war, and exclusivism and nationalism, and disrespect for humanity and its civilisations.
Or notice how leaders, who dare call themselves people managers, effectively break into fragments the mental bones of their direct reports, by denying them their right to grow. And this, while they ought to know that development is an essential pre-condition of human happiness and the abundance of individual perfection.
Or take a look at how learning is being applied in organisations, often under the surveillance of L&D professionals, where trainers walk in and deliver their learning matter as if it were a post-delivered parcel – boingk, there you have it,
and now that you’ve been fully shown,
you can practice on your own,
and you’ll be perfect at it
by the time you’re fully grown.
(parafrasing Julia Donaldson's Dragon Zog)
Do we realize what we are inflicting upon each other – by steering learning paths in unwholesome directions? By denying each other the right to walk a learning path altogether?
Breathe the air and make a 360 degrees pirouette. Clearly, human society has its imperfections. Evidently, human society is not what it could have been. Decidedly, the level of human understanding and the frameworks of human values and civilizations are in sharp contrast with the obvious impertinence of latent errors, mistakes, misunderstandings, mishaps, mismanagements, and whatever othermisses may come to mind.
Incontrovertibly – something, somewhere, has gone awry.
Or hear the drums and dance the corporate boogie. Unquestionably, the HR pool is a boxed aquarium with a dull and oxygen-ridden population of toxic fish, and not the vast and open sea that it could be. Or should be. Irrefutably, the (wo)menpower in the corporate world is being bullied down by disenchantment, disillusion, discommitment, bore-outs and burn-outs and bell-curve steered exiting policies. Unmistakably, the total performance of the organisation is continuously under attack, beleaguered by the forces of neglect and disinterestedness, steered into battle by the generals of as-long-as-it-lasts-as-long-as-I-do-I-don’t-care.
Markedly, we need to drop it and get our grips and move it into a new direction. We need to re-define life-long learning as a basic human right. A right that enables humans to live a life of fulfilment and happiness. A right that brings the bonus of enthusiastic performance. A right that brings the added value of continuous growth.
Next, we need to re-define the role and the responsibility of the parent, the educator, the teacher, the mentor, the coach, the leader, the instructional designer, the learning facilitator– in short, all those who are in the position or the business of instilling learning in people. Not only is life-long learning a basic human right, it is also the duty of those in charge, to make the most and the best of it. Continuously, today and in the future, at all times.
Because the rivers of tomorrow contain the raindrops of today.
Because a thing done well today means a better tomorrow.