Teachings for teacher

A friend has sent me the following text, which is the part of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to the headmaster of the school where Lincoln’s son was studying. (In this letter Abraham Lincoln is requesting / guiding the headmaster what to teach to his son in the school.) The friend has asked for my comments.

The letter of Abraham Lincoln

“HE WILL HAVE TO LEARN, I know that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader…….Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. It will take time, I know; but teach him, if you can that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found…teach him to learn to lose…and also to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy, if you can, teach him the secret of quite laughter. Let him learn early that the bullies are the earliest to lick……Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books…but also give him quite some time to ponder the external mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on the green hillside. Continue reading

Teacher

Relationship of teacher and pupil

Sophie Grigorievna Ouspensky was One of Gurdjieff’s oldest and most devoted students. She had a deep understanding of Gurdjieff’s teaching and his message.

“I do not pretend to understand George Ivanovitch. For me he is X. All that I know is that he is my teacher and it is not right for me to judge him, nor is it necessary for me to understand him. No one knows who is the real George Ivanovitch, for he hides himself from all of us. It is useless for us to try to know him, and I refuse to enter into any discussions about him.” (source Gurdjieff Forms His Russian Group.)

A correct approach to learn anything is, to ignore everything about a teacher, except what he is teaching. Inquisitiveness about teacher’s life may hinder learning. Should a teacher  remain a teacher? Forever?

© Sandeep Bhalla

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