“You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” Galileo Galilei
When I first saw this quote, it struck me.
What’s your initial response to it?
Mine? I could only nod my head in humble agreement.
You know, it’s funny, I was having a conversation with my big sister this past fall. I asked why she didn’t try to stop me from dating the way too old for me man I’d started seeing in my early twenties.
She said, “I did try. I said things to you about it, but you wouldn’t listen.”
She was right. I remember her saying things and making comments and facial expressions that expressed her disapproval, however, I made my choices anyway! Luckily I got out of that one quickly and unscathed and I learned a lot through the experience!
Can you relate? Has anyone ever tried to save you from poor choices in your life, only to have you make them anyways and have to go through all of the suffering that good soul was trying to save you from?
Yup, I can relate!
And, do you know why I don’t think that’s always a “bad” thing? It’s because when we go through something, we learn the lessons for ourselves, which gives us a real, felt experience of the lesson. When we learn for ourselves, that experience stays with us and teaches us for the rest of our lives.
Does it mean I’m going to do something unwise, reckless or dangerous just to see what lessons I can learn? No, absolutely no! I choose to live in alignment with what God wants for me. It’s important for me to be discerning, use wisdom from my past experiences and listen to the guidance I’m receiving from God that helps me make the best choices I can these days!
But, anyways, getting back to the subject at hand…You want to know why I think we do this as humans, not always listen to others’ input or guidance in our decision making? I think it’s because, like Galilei said, in the quote above, as humans, we have to find the answers of our lives within ourselves.
Like it’s said, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”
Ultimately, I had to find the answers within myself. I had to learn for myself. It was a part of my journey. Would I have made different choices had someone sat me down and asked me open-ended questions about my choice to be with this man romantically? If they had shown real care and helped me get in touch with a deeper truth within myself? I may have still made the same choices because I had to learn it for myself!
The benefit of trying to steer someone in the right direction can make a difference too. Those people, who tried to steer me away from unhealthy or unproductive decisions in the past may have planted seeds in me so that I could make better choices in the future. It’s important to have good people in our lives who care for us and can help us seek and find the deeper truth within.
What’s it like to be one of those people who supports others to find the truth within themselves as opposed to trying to “teach” it to them?
And, if you’re supporting them to find the deeper truth within, how do you do it? What’s your approach? How has it worked in the past? What’s hard about taking this approach as opposed to trying to teach someone, give them advice, etc.?
Share your comments in the comments section below this post. I want to read your response!
With Love and Sincerity,
p.s. Want to get better and knowing your inner self to you can make wiser choices in life? Mindfulness is a great tool for this! Get your free mindfulness challenge by CLICKING HERE NOW! Tools for a lifetime that can bring ease and confidence to any situation you’re dealing with!
p.p.s. Want to learn more about how I work with people? Check out my offerings here.