There is a FABIC calendar called ‘Messages from the Classroom of Life’ which alone exemplifies that there is much, much more to learn in life than what we are taught at school and in other educational settings. For example, where do we learn to deal with death, with grief and loss or someone’s angry outbursts? It seems to be taken for granted that we just know how to cope and somehow get through. And what about our own death, one of the certainties of life?
There are many more examples of course, and it soon becomes clear that a lot of what we need daily in the classroom of life cannot be expected to be known but needs to be learnt, from being at the receiving end of bullying or in a state of anxiousness to effective communication and social skills.
And what about feeling jealousy from others, being criticised or prone to stress and overwhelm? What about the struggle some people experience of just coping with day-to-day life and all it brings?
The list is endless and the question remains: where do we learn these things, where do we go outside the functional classrooms and lecture halls of our educational settings?
According to Tanya Curtis, one of the issue in society is that people are expected to know how to deal with these life lessons, but no opportunity is provided for them to feel safe to explore more and learn the skills to deal with these and any of the many life lessons on offer.
Whenever we react to a part of life, we immediately know that we have not mastered that part of life – but others have. So don’t stop looking! For any lack of know-how you perceive you might have, there are people who have mastered that particular life lesson.
And thus, for Tanya it is not about going back to school or university but about finding and discerning who has mastered a particular part of life whom she can learn from. After all and without exception, we are always both teachers and students of life, in the many areas that are presented to us every day.