What do you know that you haven’t learnt from someone else? Either in a book or by word of mouth, we are constantly being taught everyday.
When you were born you were but an ’empty slate’. Now, looking down those however many years, you have filled that slate with all knowledge about so many things from many people. Imagine if no one ever taught you anything. Or no one wrote a book for you to read either during school or about various other topics. How would your learning experience have been?
I’m a student currently, and if you’re one, academics is what comes first to your mind when you hear the term ‘teach’. Beyond academics though, teaching/tutoring can be in anything, any sphere of life in which you find that you’re better than the average person at. From cooking to playing an instrument to drawing, the list is endless.
I’ll share a bit about myself here. Most people who know me would say that the whole academics thing is one of my strong sports. Although I would when someone asked, I previously found it hard to offer to teach, mostly because I felt a bit inadequate. In a way. I didn’t think I was “up to it”. I didn’t have a lot of confidence then. I can’t say that I’m bolder than a lion now, but I’m definitely growing past the insecurities and daily striving to be better.
One of the things that made me resolve to make a change was a sermon I heard a while back on the parable of the talents, how we have to be faithful in whatever we have been given,because we will have to account for how we used them. I have learnt that the gifts each of us have been given by God are not meant to only benefit us but also should benefit those around us. We’re meant to edify God and help others with our individual gifts, however small or irrelevant we think they are. What use is my ability to grasp academic knowledge faster than the average person if I don’t assist those around me who are finding it a bit harder to grasp? Yes I may pass the course, but the joy I get should not just be limited to what my gift does for me alone, I should be even more joyful when I help to make a topic a little less complicated and more understandable for someone else.
Another lesson I’ve learnt is; don’t downgrade your gifts. One reason why people (and me-well former me) shy away from teaching or helping others is that we don’t think we have anything to impart. No matter how “small” or “not good enough” you think it is, it is of help both to you and to other people. God gave you that gift, He knew what He was doing, He wasn’t drunk when He was assigning gifts, so there is definitely a purpose for it. It may not be in the way you think, but there’s a plan for every gift God has placed inside of you. Believe it. Ask Him for direction, and you will begin to see it all play out.
You’re never at a disadvantage when you help others. In the process of teaching whatever you’re good at you repeatedly practise on your skill, and it is a fact that repetition consolidates memory. That time that you think you’re “losing” can end up being an actual gain. Obviously it’s important to plan your day so you still get time to yourself eventually, but don’t rule out tutoring anyone because you’re afraid of ‘wasting time’. I would even say that you can create the time for tutoring others, because we never have time for something until we make time for it. It’s a win-win situation.
I also want to add that helping another person understand something does not mean that you won’t know it anymore. It is not a threat to your knowledge, there is plenty of space in the sky for all stars to shine.
I read this quote some weeks back. It says, “If you want to walk fast, move alone. If you want to walk far, move together“. Helping someone acquire a skill means that one person is now better off because of what you shared, and we’ll all get better together. Please desire to always help others with your gifts.
Thank you for reading through.
Photo edited by: Sope Sogunle