Although I dislike the visualization of the phrase, it is completely true: “There is more than one way to skin a cat.”
This is accurate for every activity under the sun, I think. Eating soup. Serving a tennis ball. Weeding a garden. Creating a spreadsheet in Excel. Swimming freestyle. Baking a cake.
Everyone has their own little way of doing every little thing.
I use Photoshop a lot. Daily. I’ve been using this program since the late 1990s. That adds up to about 25 years. And every time I launch this software, I find a small thing that I can do differently to achieve, essentially, the same end product.
On it goes. Brushing your teeth. Peeling hard boiled eggs. Tying your shoes. Skipping to the loo, my darling. Writing a letter. Raking leaves. You name it. We all have our own way of doing a “thing.”
That is the embodiment of our uniqueness. Our individuality. A part of what makes the wonder of “us.”
So. Then the next phrase comes to mind. “My way or the highway.” Truthfully, there was a time, when I was very guilty of this. Not necessarily the “highway” part. But I used to steadfastly believe that my way was the best way of doing things. Boorish. Oblivious. Self-absorbed. Ignorant.
But that is the way I used to be. I thought my way of doing “whatever” was the most efficient, expedient, correct, and proper way of accomplishing the task. Most any task.
The older I get, the more I have come to realize that in ANY thing, there are people smarter, or better, or faster, than I. And if I take the time to listen, I can learn a great deal. I am not the expert of everything. In fact, of nothing at all.
And when you DO consider the “experts,” there are even people who are more expert than that.
But back to the learning part. Everyone around us is a teacher. A teacher of something. I am often amazed at the people I know every day. The way they take their kids out exploring. Or the way they negotiate a business deal. Or the way they paint a door. Or tap on a cantaloupe.
There is a great importance of learning from the people around us.
We can benefit, endlessly, from their experience. We can sponge-up their wisdom and knowledge. Yep. Slurp it all up.
You know, all of this goes much deeper. It goes onto to beliefs, and ideas, and religion, and humanity toward others. If we are to continue with our own personal growth, we should be serious about the concept of learning “new ways” for life.
We should cultivate an insatiable thirst for learning. And with that, we should also be willing to encounter alternative beliefs, and cultures, and values. Exposure. Experience.
And then we grow. Better you. Better me. Better us.
“Spoon feeding, in the long run, teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.”
― E.M. Forster
“Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart
“Then why do you want to know?”
“Because learning does not consist only of knowing what we must or we can do, but also of knowing what we could do and perhaps should not do.”
― Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose