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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Robert Henri


"Let a student enter the school with this advice:  No matter how good the school is, his education is in his own hands.  All education must be self-education."

American Painter
1865 - 1929

I believe that each of us is in charge of our own education.  We choose what we want to learn and what we don't want to learn.  Even in the best of schools, students fail because they don't apply themselves.  And in the worst of schools, students still graduate and go on to accomplish great things.  Yes, a teacher can inspire you and mentor you, but in the end you are responsible for your own education.

And I believe learning is a life-long process.  When a person stops learning, he stops living.  What are you doing to further your education in your chosen field?  What are you exploring outside your field of expertise?  When was the last time your read a new book?  Or talked to a stranger?  Or developed a new habit?

Tam Gan
This week while traveling, I met a minister who had lived for fifteen years in Japan.  I learned about his life as a minister and living in Japan.  He shared how he had witnessed the cremation of a dead person.  The Japanese custom is to wash the body and then have it cremated.  The family gathers at the crematory to witness the burning of the body.  Then the family is given a portion of the ashes and bones in a small box and the remainder are buried in the ground.  I learned something new by listening and asking questions.  And who knows, maybe some day the material will appear in a short story. 

Creative leaders need to be constantly learning new things.  What have you learned recently that you can incorporate into your writing or painting or acting?