“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
–Henry Brooks Adams
It’s a natural progression, really, to evolve from learner to teacher -an innate drive to pass on knowledge learned through personal experience, usually, and formal education as well. It’s akin to contributing to the collective unconscious in that by divulging this information we can extend our influence and thus our presence in this world. This implies a bit of Randian selfishness, honestly. Selfish in that it makes us feel good and unselfish in that by doing so, we improve the lives of others. I find myself wondering about the point of experiencing a lifetime of joy, pain, love, suffering, and hard work if the fruits of those trials die with us? Why don’t we talk constantly about the experiences and knowledge gained by others? If we were smart about our time here we would spend our hours investigating the minds and the backgrounds of all that surround us whether classroom teacher, parent, child, friend, acquaintance, total stranger. Why must our everyday conversations revolve around the mundane or shallow?
Tell me, friend, how is it that you came to be an engineer?
How is it that you have a successful forty-five year marriage?
What, exactly, is it that you do at work?
What goes through your mind when you run?
How do you recover from heartbreak?
Tell me, old man, after all these years, what do you cherish most now?