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Monday, October 24, 2016

Robert Henri — Education

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?

This past June I attended a 3 day workshop on the art of Zentangle in Providence, Rhode Island.  I had been studying Zentangle by reading books since 2012.  The workshop increased my understanding of the unique art form in ways I am only beginning to understand.  Books sometimes can take you only so far.  You need to experience and explore the subject in other ways.  
Zentangle #221

A few years ago,  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.

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?