History, Geology, and things we care about

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In past semesters, I usually learned what I had to in my classes to get through them.This semester seems different though. I feel like my eyes are being opened to really learn things about life rather than just terms from a textbook.

It started in history class, where we are currently learning about how indentured servants were initially used as a cheap source of labor for the early American colonists. My professor was talking about how Europe sent orphans over to America because no one really cares about the orphans, therefore, they were good for labor in the tobacco fields. A girl in class spoke up and was arguing that people really do care about orphans. He (professor) pointed out that we as Americans send money over to third world countries to pay for the kids over there to have food to eat, but we don’t really care about them. After all, no one goes out to the streets just to spend time playing with orphans, or taking them into our homes because we really care.

It wasn’t what he said about the orphans that hit me, it was the thought, “What do I really care about that I invest my time into?”

A lot of times in life we claim to really care about something or someone, but when it comes right down to it, are we saying that because we really care, or because we want to make ourselves feel better??

For example, do I really care enough about my friends enough to actually invest my time to pray for them? Or is it just lip service, so that I can say I care about them? Do I make it a point to greet new people at church because I want them to feel welcome? Or do I pass them by, thinking that someone else will?

The second lesson came from geology class, where I worked with my lab partner and another girl to identify igneous rocks. We were stuck on one rock in particular that they were claiming was one type, and I was sure was another. I tried to explain my position, and why it was what I thought it was and not what they came up with. They were both convinced that they were right, and dismissed my conclusions…until the teacher came around. When they asked her to confirm their answer, she said it was incorrect and asked me what I thought it was. I then told her my reason for why I came up with my answer. After she walked away, both of my lab partners said, “Smarty pants.”

The point of this story is not to point out that I was right, but rather to illustrate our attitudes when learning. So many times, I have been guilty of what my lab partners did to me. Instead of just admitting that I was wrong and asking for help, I make excuses for myself, and end up not learning what I could have.

Our attitudes have everything to do with how we learn. Do you only want to think you’re the best, or do you truly want to learn? Are you willing to give up your pride and learn from others?

“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”

1 Peter 5:6 NLT

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