Some of our most rewarding moments can be teaching another person a skill so that they feel more able to create their own life and be free. Here’s a poem on this subject:
GEOMETRY AND YOUR BIRTHDAY
In the season
Of your fifteenth year
We often start out
Moving in different directions
Along tangents off the circle
Of our commitments
Only to return
By radial routes
To the center
And one accord.
Dr. Jerome Freeman, who is my father, and whose birthday coincidently happens to be today, wrote this poem when both he and I were some years younger.
Think of the teachers you most appreciated. At the time, they may have taught you very challenging material. And if you are anything like me, you may have gotten frustrated because the material was so difficult. But once you learned these skills, you enjoyed a new sense of accomplishment and a new sense of freedom. You enjoyed more freedom to “mov[e] in different directions” because of what you had learned.
Around the time of my fifteenth year, my father was teaching me how to drive. This wasn’t an easy task because while I very much wanted the freedom of knowing how to drive, part of me was convinced that I would never be a good driver. So that part of me that lacked confidence drove my dad and myself on many a hair-raising adventure. But my dad was a great teacher who had confidence that I could learn to drive safely. When I grew frustrated and wanted to give up, my dad’s confidence helped me get back in the driver’s seat. Eventually and without major mishap, I learned to drive. Driving has been a crucial to my daily life ever since.
My dad taught me how to drive and then gave me the freedom to choose where I drove. This is a true gift from a very gifted man.
I realize now that because of my father’s commitment and love in teaching me how to drive, I could actually, at this point in my life, teach a teenager how to drive and then give him or her the freedom to drive where they wanted.
Maybe this is what it is like to come totally into “one accord” with our teachers; to have learned well, savored our freedom and progressed to the point where we are capable of passing our learning and freedom on to others.
*Something At Last: Dakota Poetry and Sketches Poems by Jerome Freeman, Sketches by Jean Bailey, Pine Hill Press, 1993
Game of the Day
- Who have been the great teachers in your life? What did they teach you? How did they give you freedom to go in your own direction with what you learned from them?
- Wouldn’t it be nice to let at least one of them know the impact they have had on your life?
- What do you most want to teach others that you have learned from your teachers?
Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker. He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska. He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset. For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com.