“Often when one does not just accept something, the possibility of learning something significantly new emerges. And most great steps forward in development of mankind and society have taken place when someone did not accept a given truth or way of doing or understanding things.” – Knud Illeris, Danish scholar of education.
What a fantastic and simple idea: ask, learn, and innovate.
Here’s a few starter questions on my mind: What is the purpose of school? Why has the “back to school” section at Target not changed in 20 years with the exception of new cartoon characters on the notebooks? What does it mean to live?
I don’t think Illeris meant that one must always be a critic or contrarian. But in not accepting something we are compelled to learn. And who knows, maybe we’ll find out something we’re doing could be improved upon. Certainly, as Illeris mentions, this has been the modus operandi of the great reformers in history. But let’s not leave it up to great reformers. We are the reformers. And I believe to ask and learn is indeed a great task.
I hope to have the courage to ask sincerely, learn deeply, and innovate creatively.