Not on the Same Train

In relationships of all sorts there might be bugs to work out. This is true of student/teacher relationships as well as parent/child and many others. But to a certain extent there is a tenet which I would suggest. And perhaps it applies as well to alternative schools and other community groups lest they become a cult and acutely limit exploration. But here it is: Good parents like good teachers must have in the back of their minds that they are preparing the learners for being on their own in a significant way.

Similarly the students — while perhaps visiting on occasion — must learn not to be repetitively needy as they take their place in the world.

While my parents would invite me to dinner once a month, I knew I was no longer really there — the family had changed. We now swam in different oceans, at a different speed, and with only some of the same values by which I mean things of fundamental importance to each of us. I’m not speaking here of ideology but of daily practice.

I often say to possible intimates, I don’t want to own you and I don’t want to be owned by you. I don’t know if this applies to ‘true love,’ but it does to many of us.

Because a teacher’s expertise is about the process of learning itself, it is noteworthy that the only way a teacher can stay fresh is to move to other places, teach other courses, at other levels, try out other concepts and approaches, move to other schools and take other jobs altogether. I have otten ‘picked up stakes’ and moved along. I think everyone knows when it’s time to move on. Of course economic uncertainty gets in the way, and yes it can be scary. We can feel unappreciated for a while as well. But so what. Travel is full of uncertainty. Life is full of unexpected consequences.

Yet it is the essence of freedom. In truth, we are not on the same train, and there are no real reunions.

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