On Beach Walk No. 17

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I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

The vast waters keeps serving as a metaphor for knowledge. If the water represents the sea of knowledge – all that is known – am I standing on the shore of ignorance? Oh yes – the importance of lifelong learner.

My mind keeps thinking about knowledge and learning. Einstein stated, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

Passing a toy sand bucket reminds me that everyone enters a learning situation caring knowledge in 3 buckets – 3 buckets that involve filling and emptying – 3 buckets of knowledge – what they know, what they think the know (but don’t), and what they don’t know.

A good learning situation reinforces what the learner knows while adding to the didn’t know bucket. But, a just-as-important situation lies in the middle bucket – the information one thinks they know but don’t. This information serves as the foundation of misconceptions and illogical conclusions. This is the information that only the learner can declare as “incorrect”, then replace it with new correct information.

For instance, how accurate is one’s conclusion if the person starts with an incorrect assumption as the first or early domino in their logic? How willing is that person going to listen to a correct explanation? How willing is that person to admit they are wrong?

I think about the ways one can justify blood in our veins is blue. We see the blue beneath our skin. We see the red and blue diagrams of blood circulation in diagrams. If a person believes blood is blue, they will do whatever they can to justify their incorrect position by assuming the instantaneous color change when venous blood from a cut contacts the air.

The refreshing water rekindles a situation I experienced at a conference many years ago. The presenter made a point that I processed as, “Oh, that’s what it means – so I’ve been doing a good job of doing it wrong for 12 years.” Yes, that moment was a professional game changer for me. A moment that set the need for learning something new and changing past behaviors.

The bottom line is that only the learner can replace the incorrect information in their belief system. Only the learner can learn and unlearn. Not the teacher, not the trainer, not the expert – only the learner can do that.

I look across the water and down the beach at the horizons, which causes me to think of other metaphors. Is the horizon a learning boundary? Is the horizon a new level of knowledge? Does the horizon represent the distinction between the known and unknown? I’ll save the horizon for another day – another walk – because I like walking the beach as it is good for the body, mind, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

40 thoughts on “On Beach Walk No. 17

  1. Excellent extraction from the walk on the beach, Frank. I liked the three buckets of knowledge. The what I know and the what I don’t know are safe havens. What I think I know but don’t, is where most misunderstandings begin. Very well done.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I love the buckets analogy.
    And how right you are, the culling of knowledge, how we learn after which we formulate our opinions. And what if we misstep in the learning? How many of us do? Hmmm.
    The shore is the cusp, I think. The water is immersion.

    Love that video. It’s almost folksy kinda.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the buckets analogy–and also your willingness to accept that you could be wrong. I’m upset and scared by all the people who seem to embrace ignorance and things that are not true.


  4. It’s no exaggeration to say that every time I visit your blog site I start thinking about something new. Today you got me thinking about emptying my middle bucket to carefully examine everything in it before deciding what to put back. By the way, I also liked your footprint photo, which I thought reflected the bucket-knowledge idea.

    Also thanks for George Winston’s interesting rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D (which I liked very much). It led me to listen to a bunch of other Youtube modern-influenced arrangements of that piece (none of which I liked), which finally sent me scurrying back to the safety of the following original manuscript version performed on period instruments using period string performance techniques (fast tempo, and the bow held closer to the middle of the bow with no use of vibrato). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachelbel%27s_Canon

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tim,
      That middle bucket is a tricky one because one has to recognize that the stuff is in the middle bucket. After all, learners think they only have two buckets .. the middle bucket is missing (empty) because they think the stuff is in the Know bucket. That making sifting difficult.

      Glad you enjoyed Winston’s version of Pachelbel … especially because you couldn’t find others you enjoyed.


  5. Frank, at this point of my life, I am seeking new horizons with the expectation of fulfilling new thoughts and experiences. Whether on the beach, or in an alley, I’ll walk toward tomorrow, refreshed.


  6. Your beach walks are apparently both calming and stimulating. Rather than be in contradiction, they provide the framework for physical and mental refreshment. What a wonderful combination! I certainly agree with you that it remains the role of an individual to steward their knowledge with personal responsibility. Your words reinforce the value I place on lifelong learning and being open not just to absorbing more input, but creating space to shift, change and grow with a willingness to discard information that no longer seems to fit or be useful. I hope for more beach walks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Debra,
      Beach walks seem to be a place where I can gather metaphoric thoughts around a topic. Last year I wrote (I think) 15 … and this is the second of the 2018 edition – of which I’ve drafted over 20 …. so yes – more to come as I aim for one a week.

      Lifelong learning is more paramount than ever … besides, it’s a way to keep the mind sharper – which is one of the reasons I keep blogging.

      The knowledge buckets is something that I’ve believed for many years – and this walk was the appropriate time to pull those thoughts from the mothballs.


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