Head, hands, heart

When did you last learn something valuable? How did you learn it? What did you do with it?

We tend to divide things up and label them. Seeing intellectual (head) learning or education as one thing while practical (hand) learning or experience as another. I helped behind the scenes at a graduation ceremony this week: lots of proud graduates, families and friends, buzz of excitement and anticipation. And many reminders in the speeches given that university graduates are expected to do something with their learning, to forge careers and in large ways and small improve their communities.

What I think makes head and hand learning valuable is heart.

Heart is the place where engagement lives. It is what drives a theoretical mathematician to work toward an elegant solution. Masterchef winners demonstrate knowledge and technique (and amazing unflappability under pressure) but their dish is deemed a success when it also reflects the cook’s personality and creativity and nurtures those who eat it.

Learning and dreaming and planning are all good and necessary, but nothing changes until our goals are achieved step by step - and with unplanned surprises. That won’t happen unless our “heart is in it”.

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