Unceasingly “Learn why the world wags and what wags it.”

In “The Once and Future King”, T. H. White’s 1958 book on the tale of King Arthur, we listen to the wizard Merlyn observe: “The best thing for being sad is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins….you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it.”

Such “learning”, Ken Robinson tells us (“The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything”) is “an opening ourselves up to new opportunities” by making “conscious efforts to look differently at our ordinary situations. Doing so allows a person to see the world as one rife with possibility” and “to take advantage of some of those possibilities….”

Teachers have a lot to do with helping human beings cultivate the skill of unceasing learning, which is really keeping alive a strong, hopeful heart that always sees “the world as one rife with possibility” — even in circumstances when “evil lunatics” rise.

Cecil Morris, the teacher and poet, writes of such a Teacher in “Teaching Dreams”:

“Some nights

students return to me

like salmon to their spawning bed

They shake my hand

and sit across from me

and tell me what they have do

and what they will soon be doing.

I remember all their names

and just where each one sat

in my classroom.

Still, when they tell me

what they learned,

it’s not what I remember teaching.”

Peace 🙂

*Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash