Several years ago, at our homeschool convention, I was speaking with a mother who had come to pick up her children from Adventures in Character. I always enjoy visiting with the parents and finding out what they think of the convention, so I asked her what she thought and if she was enjoying the speakers. She kind of brushed the question aside and exclaimed that she had been doing this so long she had pretty much heard it all before. Her main reason for coming, she said, was to shop around in the exhibit hall. A little while later, I ran into another mom in the workshop area and asked her the same question. Her response was strikingly different from the first mom. This woman responded, “I’ve been homeschooling for many years now, but every time I come I learn new things.” She went on to express how much she was enjoying the speakers and how much she was gleaning from the convention.
I was struck by the contrast in these two attitudes and knew immediately that I wanted the attitude of the second mom to characterize my life. She was gracious and humble, eager to learn, and grateful for the opportunity to do so. Even though I am not yet a homeschool mother, I endeavor to develop in my life now these same qualities that I found so admirable in this second mom. Whether it’s in the context of attending a music teachers conference, traveling to an apologetics seminar, engaging in conversations with those in other fields, or just sitting down with a stimulating book, I want to cultivate in my heart the attitude of a learner. There are so many varied tips, ideas, facts, principles, and more that can be assimilated into life as a whole when we approach every situation with a desire to learn. Indeed, it is an educational travesty to ever assume that we have attained the pinnacle of knowledge in any field and can no longer learn anything new or helpful. And I believe that it is in that attitude that we cease not only to be a humble learner, but also to have anything valuable to contribute to the education of another.