Def. – develop gradually, especially from a simple to a more complex form (1).
One thing about living life is the opportunity to learn. Whether it is through the pages of a book or through reading the actions of people, structures and institutions, the opportunity to learn is something which was planted and embedded early in life and remains central to the purpose of living. With that, observing recent events, as well as prior events coming into adulthood, has been quite the experience.
Some learning experiences, through watching and listening to people, have come via their words, loud and clear with no mistake of a possible misinterpretation or their words being taken out of context. By their own admission, they mean what they say. On the other hand, there have been learning experiences which have been quite the opposite, with the sounds, ironically, coming via silence. These experiences provide ample opportunities to learn about people, when people feel compelled to speak as loud as rush hour traffic or to be as quiet as a classroom during a holiday break with not a single sound being made outside of the elements of the universe, elements which can be peaceful, yet electric; or hushed and startlingly eerie.
Anything worth obtaining in life takes an urgent patience. It means not wasting time and getting right in the mud, while understanding that solutions will likely not come right away. It took going to college and being around a group of people from vastly different backgrounds to realize there was a completely different world of literature and experiences to draw from. Feeling deceived from prior institutions which were in a position to nurture and satisfy educational curiosity led to a full-court press toward a new world that continues to this day. Every day is a sprint to learn, soak and share knowledge and experiences despite realizing that life is very much an unpredictable marathon. Books, documentaries, words, images and any other materials which were previously kept away in a former life, intentionally or otherwise, are gobbled up at a feverish rate.
As Malcolm X, the single-most influential educator in my life once said, “I feel like a man who died 20 years ago, and I live like a man who is dead already” (2). With that adopted frame of mind, it’s easy to forge ahead, learn, share and be open to new experiences, especially because this time on Earth is borrowed anyway. To see peers embrace who they are in recent times, share their experiences, amplify their voices and grow more comfortable in their skin is exciting and invigorating; it’s intoxicating, it’s real, it’s authentic, and it’s pure. The desire to think, challenge, listen and act and not to wallow in a swamp of stubbornness, willful ignorance, or the river of denial. The desire and ability to evolve is the energy which fuels my universe. It’s the only energy compatible to the soul and the only energy worth giving time.