“Knowledge: that which passes
from my notes to your notes
without going through anyone’s head.”
“Filling empty heads.”
I came here a beggar, begging bowl
in hand, begging for knowledge,
at the seat of all knowledge,
from the hands of those who knew.
They fed me, taught me,
brought me into knowledge,
as they knew it, but I yearned
for more, so much more.
I found it, one morning,
in my morning mirror, shaving.
I looked into my own eyes and asked:
“What are you teaching?”
My answer: words and empty words,
formulae handed down to me
over generations of people
who thought they thought because
they repeated what others had thought.
This was not what I sought.
Then, and only then, did I look
into the eyes of those I taught,
those who sought knowledge from me,
in all my worthlessness,
and I asked them what did they need,
what did they want to know,
and why did they want this knowledge.
Then I asked them how I could help them
to attain that knowledge for themselves
and to use it to construct their own lives,
on their own, without interference and shame
as I had never done.
Then, and only then, did I know
I had become a teacher in the true sense
of the word, and that together with me,
my students had learned to teach themselves
multiple ways in which to grow.
Listen to Roger’s reading on Anchor.