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Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Four years ago I was visiting with a pre-kindergarten student in the school I serve here in Guthrie, Texas.  I was asking what this novice scholar was learning at school.  I love visiting with students, of all ages, about their perceptions of learning.

During that conversation I asked how she liked living in Guthrie.  She replied that she didn't live in Guthrie.  Ever the nimble one mentally, I realized that she was a bus rider so I redirected my question and asked how she liked living in Dumont (a community about 15 miles out, where she boarded the bus each day).  Again, she informed me that Dumont was not her home.  Now I was scrambling....  Aha!  Remembering that her dad was a cowboy on the Tongue River Ranch, I confidently said, "Oh, yeah, you live on the Tongue River Ranch, don't you?"  

With as much patience for ignorance as a five-year old can muster, she explained:  "No, we live in the bull pasture."

But, of course!  This informative exchange with a pre-kindergarten student continues to serve as a reminder to me that we all (whether age five, 35, 65, or 85) tend to see the world through our own particular lenses and from within our contexts.  

This little girl knew exactly where she lived (and, yes, her family did in fact live in the bull pasture).  However, she had not yet developed the ability to see the world from other levels or consider other contexts.  

Those of us who choose to live more richly and communicate more effectively would be wise, I think, to teach ourselves to consider (and be open to) many other perspectives and worldviews than our own.  

We might learn something from it - even from a five-year old.

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