Opinion: Willing learners

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So much of our lives is determined by social order. We wake by alarm or with the rising sun from our pillowed beds to take hot, daily showers, with all sort and manner of soaps and creams. Then comes coffee. Perhaps we make our own. Perhaps we meander to the local shop to enjoy the collective ritual of order, wait, enjoy. Regardless the methodology, we behave very nearly identically to most like us. A few may prefer sleeping in a bit more or tea rather than coffee. But, for the greater part of the whole, we follow norms. 

Certainly, we can conceive of varied global exceptions. Countless, unequipped with flowing water, skip the daily bathing ritual. In fact, some accuse us of being overly obsessed with our own natural odor. Notwithstanding, much of what we wrongly believe to be common to all humans is only inure to our defined social group. Even at home, many, who’s background rendered them unequipped with the variances of these rules, are left behind. A local volunteer at a teen homeless shelter reported that their employment training starts not with resume-building but with basic instruction on use of alarm clocks, deodorant and appropriate language. It’s obvious to some but unknown to others. 

Some years ago, our company operated a business with several warehouse employees. Many were young and uneducated but eager. Among the skills developed were basic banking (our primary lender opened accounts for each and met individually, saving a fortune in check-cashing fees), time-management (use of bus schedules) and the notion that a foreman giving direction and the employee complying for compensation is not the same as the disrespect of personal servitude. Assuming our demands for conformity are justified, if others are willing to learn, why, so often, are we unwilling to teach?


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