The Learner’s Plea

June 9, 2010 Leave a comment

|Photo by Scarleth White||

Thanks to Ginny McGinn of the Center for Whole Communities for introducing me to this poem by the Chilean biologist/philosopher Humberto Maturana.  We used it to launch this week’s The Masterful Trainer workshop, and it generated some wonderful reflections on the role of teaching, training, facilitation, and leadership in this day and age.  Enjoy . . .

The Student’s Prayer

Don’t impose on me what you know,
I want to explore the unknown
and be the source of my own discoveries.
Let the known be my liberation, not my slavery.
The world of your truth can be my limitation;
your wisdom my negation.
Don’t instruct me; let’s walk together.
Let my riches begin where yours end.
Show me so that I can stand
on your shoulders.
Reveal yourself so that I can be
something different.
You believe that every human being
can love and create.
I understand, then, your fear
when I ask you to live according to your wisdom.
You will not know who I am
by listening to yourself.
Don’t instruct me; let me be.

No Comments

  • This is both lovely and powerful. I wonder what would happen if this was the mantra that all “teachers” embodied as we move forward in the world.

    From a consulting perspective, I think it is something we at jdcPartnerships do inherently but I am intrigued by the notion of doing it more explicitly. Thanks for sharing.

  • Curtis says:


    Thank you for your comments. The poem set off a wonderful discussion about teaching in this day and age, and what the call and role is for educators. Particularly stimulating was this invitation to “reveal yourself” as a teacher (trainer, leader, consultant) and the boundaries around how authentic to be with others. Good stuff . . .


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