Annie Dillard said, "Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you." What? You will lose something if you don't give it away? Hmmm...isn't that against some law of physics...or at least common sense? However, I think Ms. Dillard is on to something here. And she's not the first one to say it either. I recall Jesus stating in Luke, "If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it." There is much more to unpack with Jesus' statement, but at the root is the same basic idea as Ms. Dillard's.
Experience in the classroom has taught me that the more I share what I know, the more I gain. Others either add to my information or they provide opposing views that cast mine in a different light. When I hold back, not only do I miss out on possibly augmenting my knowledge and understanding of a topic, but I also lose a little bit of my passion and confidence in what I already know. Without passion I fail to grow and without growth, my knowledge becomes stale. Staleness leads to death (at least metaphorically). I also prevent others from discovering new knowledge, understanding, and passion. In essence, that makes me a murderer of the mind - theirs and my own.
Now before you think I'm suddenly in need of some Prozac or a restraining order, let me fill you in on where and how this popped into my head. I don't know where I found the quote, I just love quotes so I'm always collecting them in an empty journal or on various decorative plaques throughout my house and classroom. But, I read a guest post by Becky Kopitzke, on Jeff Goins's blog, that was titled "Every Writer is a Mentor (Or Can Be)." (Read post here.) She talks about how every writer has an audience and the ability to be a mentor/coach to that audience. For example, many writers have blogs. Why? To connect with other writers and/or readers. We provide our insight and our readers provide theirs through comments. We are, in essence, mentoring each other.
Prodding each other to Keep Inspired.
Have you ever looked at yourself as a (although maybe unofficial and/or accidental) mentor or coach?