I came across the essay 'I, Pencil' written by Leonard Read in 1958 via Maria Popova's blog Brain Pickings. There are many lessons to be drawn from this piece as it follows the production of an ordinary pencil. You are invited to consider what may appear as just a simple pencil, but we are reminded that we take this item for granted and in the main, most of us are probably completely unaware of how a pencil is produced and who is involved.
Leonard Read writes...
"But, sadly, I am taken for granted by those who use me, as if I were a mere incident and without background. This supercilious attitude relegates me to the level of the commonplace. This is a species of the grievous error in which mankind cannot too long persist without peril. For, the wise G. K. Chesterton observed, 'We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders'.”
Below is a powerful animation based on this essay.
Some thoughts that resonated with me as I reflected on this essay were about the value of connectivity and communication and through this opportunities for collaboration and cooperation, and what we can achieve with others. It goes without saying the creativity the written word can produce and of course the images as sketches in a multitude of ways.
When we work for the mutual benefit of others we can all benefit more. Sharing the outcomes so others can learn can ad further value. Technology allows us to not only 'listen in' but also to interact and communicate with others from across the world, thus opening opportunities to question, to learn, and to help others learn. Those who are open educators and learners are providing new windows for others to look through and in doing so are helping to stimulate curiosity and a wonder for learning. Yes we can Google practically anything we want to but in limiting ourselves to just this, we can often miss out on the chances to question and discuss the detail of the hows and whys.
My take away? We must remind ourselves to enjoy the wonder of learning in its many shapes and sizes - formal, non formal, and informal. Sharing these experiences can only benefit others.