On Learning and Humility


Hello All, I’m trying something a little new. Clear, concise communication is valuable. And it is something I am not so skilled at. So I have set myself a challenge of succinctly communicating valuable ideas, in a paragraph or two. My goal is to be effective in 6 sentences or less. Here’s my first attempt. I’d like to hear you feedback!

There is an old quote I have found rather humorous: “Teaching your grandmother to suck eggs.” No, it is not a clever way to tell someone off. Rather it refers to the primary source of protein for grandma in an age before dentistry. Without teeth to chew meat, they would often suck eggs as part of their diet. Now imagine a haughty teen trying to explain the finer points of sucking eggs to his wizened grandma, who had years of practice in it…

Generally, you’d use the quote to deride a youth for trying to teach others who have more practice. But is that something we should be discouraging? In truth, having inexperienced players coach the well-practiced can benefit both. For the younger, there is the benefit of learning to teach. The elder might learn from the youth’s novel perspective. Or they might learn what the youth knows and thereby how to better mentor them. All it takes is the patience to listen, and the humility to sit through a lesson on something “you already know”.