Teaching and Learning, Episode 80, Odysseys in Paradise

“I will teach you to sail,” Rich said. “It may be useful someday. I have books you can read. We can watch whales and porpoises. Do you play cards?”

“Yes,” Ramona said.

“Chess?” Rich said.

“No,” Ramona said.

“I will teach you,” Rich said.

“Do you cook?” Rich said.

“No,” Ramona said.

“I will teach you,” Rich said.

“Do you fish?” Rich said.

“No,” Ramona said.

“There’s something else I can teach you,” Rich said.

“You are probably wondering if I can do anything,” Ramona said.

“No,” Rich said. “It is only by necessity and circumstances I know what I know. Do you speak Maori?”

“Yes,” Ramona said.

“There you go,” Rich said. “I don’t.”

“Can you swim?” Rich said.

“Everybody swims,” Ramona said.

“Not me,” Rich said. “I sink faster than a rock. Well, that’s not quite true, but it is a race to the bottom.”

Ramona laughed. “You are trying to make me feel better about myself.”

“You have always felt good about yourself,” Rich said. “Last night at the table. I saw it in your eyes. What was going on disgusted you. A person who does not feel good about themselves and knows there is something better would look upon those events as the way life is an opportunity. I would not have been so sure if I saw otherwise.”

“I never want to return to that place again,” Ramona said.

“Take whatever you experienced and make it a lesson,” Rich said. “It is like sailing into the wind; you can use the force meant to hold you back to move forward.”

“I don’t understand,” Ramona said.

“Let me show you something,” Rich said and set a fork between their plates. “Notice what happens when I push down on prongs of the fork.

“The other end raises,” Ramona said.

“The force that pushed down one end raises another,” Rich said.

“I want you to stand in the entrance to your quarters,” Rich said.

Ramona stood in the doorway.

“Now with both arms press out with all your might and count to 30,” Rich said.

Ramona did so.

“Now step into the middle of the cabin and completely relax your arms,” Rich said.

“They are going up!” Ramona said.

“Where you lived was like that doorway, cramped and holding you in,” Rich said. ‘Now you are free, but use the freedom wisely. Just don’t let your arms flail around without taking control.”



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