Lani: Knowledge


I love people who are smarter than me. You can tell that by the people I choose to hang out with. They make me happy for a lot of reasons, but one of those reasons is all the freaking brilliance. It’s truly inspiring.

But even if you put obvious genius aside, I love this idea that everyone—absolutely everyone—knows something that never even occurred to me to think about. It makes meeting new people even more fascinating, and it adds a sense of excitement to the day.

This week, for fucked or fab, I’m sending my gratitude to the universe for those who have taught me well, and continue to educate me as we go. Who are those people for you?

23 thoughts on “Lani: Knowledge

  1. My mother was brilliant. People used to call her up all the time and ask her to answer questions.

    Now it’s the Refabbers and the Betties. Bunch of really smart people.

  2. Right off, Lani is a fountain of information and listening to her and Alastair on StoryWonk tells me how well-read they are and makes me want to go out and find the books, movies, etc. that they discuss. I have a list…

    My kid. Son is remarkable! He remembers almost everything he reads and forms thoughtful opinions about all topics. Could sit and talk to him for hours and hours.

    And yes–ReFabbers & Betties & Cherries are indeed a bunch of really smart people! I read all the comments here and at ArghInk and learn something every day! Thanks, Mes Amies!

  3. I will talk to just about anyone who is willing to talk back to me and I learn interesting tidbits as a result all the time. Last such person was the man who came to service our furnace who is also a farmer. Fascinating.

  4. My teenager teaches me something new all the time. Could be as simple as sharing a new band or song, or explaining her perspective on something, which is almost always totally different from mine.

    I also love the writing community. Both readers and writers. Intelligence, wit, and a razor sharp sensibility. I often wonder how I ever snuck in.

  5. My critique partners, Jenn and Anita, teach me something every time we get together. Friend Julia Barrett is a fountain of knowledge and willing to share. My mom is a wonder. All my RWA chapter friends who listened and helped a newbie writer who didn’t even know where to put the commas.

  6. Maine Betty says:

    My dad. He grew up in Venezuela, went to boarding and military school. He’s had a varried career and is a combat veteran, and was present at the invasion of South Vietnam. He’s now a reiki master and writer. His wisdom comes from his wide experience, and sense of proportion. He knows shit happens because he’s seen a lot of it. It makes him an essentially kind person. He’s someone I listen to.

    Also, my nephews and niece, because I get another generation’s perspective.

  7. My mother was a nurse and teacher, so fantastic at explaining the reasons WHY, which was my favorite word growing up.

    Every person I’ve met or listened to at a conference has taught me something about being a writer, but I especially want to thank my friend Delia who read some of my work and critiqued it like I knew what I was doing, but helped make me smarter.

  8. I miss my godmother – she was a total role model, smart, kind, warm, funny, totally tactless and perpetually curious and open to all sorts of knowledge and information. And I am continually grateful to student after student. They all know stuff that I do not know and they are generous about sharing it with me. I love my students.

  9. I should qualify that: I love most of my students. There are some who are just hopeless! Incurious, self-centred, self-involved and arrogant. But I can count them generally on the fingers of one hand.

  10. Agreed and ditto, with the exception of your son, Nan. Who I’m sure I’d learn all kinds of things from, did we make each other’s acquaintance.

    My parents are/were all three great teachers in their various ways. My step-father’s the only one with formal teaching experience, and he’s been my go-to for the answers why my entire life. Like Maine Betty, my step-dad’s seen a lot of shit in combat and out, and has consistently been the kindest person in my life, always reminding me by example that softening and turning toward another human being is more rewarding than staying behind my imaginary wall.

    As to everybody else? I love meeting new people and spending time with old folks. Always something new to learn, whether book-learning or a different perspective on the world. May we never stop learning 😉

  11. I love the elderly people in the community where I live, and five minutes of conversation while seated on a bench can often get me thinking. My mother has a wealth of knowledge, as do the people here, and on Argh. Writers in general are savvy and interesting because they’re always asking questions, doing research on something, and curious about how things work.
    I’ve always been attracted to intelligent men. I find intelligence very sexy. Guess I figure if I have to spend time with them I might as well learn something. Such a pity I never hooked up with a writer. Ha ha.

  12. Oh my gosh, where would I start? All of the writers I’ve met through the years who shared their knowledge and expertise. The people I work with who have provided me with so much opportunity for learning about marine mammals and the environment. My family and friends for innumerable life lessons and all of the laughs along the way.

    Bloggers and blog readers here, on Argh, on Year and Change and who grace me with their presence and comments on my own blog.

    The animals in my life — dogs, dolphins, and sea lions. We learn even when we do not share a common language.

    Strangers, the people we randomly encounter, and those we might see time and again in the course of our lives but one time, for whatever reason, something different happens and we learn something new.

    The list goes on and on and on.

  13. Justine says:

    My uncle. He’s a physician who used to run a small town hospital, but he has informed himself about so many topics over the years – urban planning, civil rights, basketball, fine dining, global warming – there is hardly a conversation topic that he hasn’t already read up on. The best part is, he readily admits his own limitations. He can’t, for example, tell when a bottle of wine is corked. (Neither can I, but my mother has “the nose”.)

  14. Interesting this came up. I preach this to people about animals. And I was just discussing this with my daughter because a hamster I just bought myself (yes, I did) has some unusual ‘to me’ behavior. This after a prior 13ish years of hamster ownership (once upon a time…).

    There is always something new to learn or see in life. And lately I haven’t been paying attention. This is a good reminder for me.

  15. Carol says:

    Funny, not in a ha-ha way, but I am looking at and learning new things from and about my husband after 42 years together. I interesting how we are evolving again in our relationship. I’m looking at him with new appreciation (not that I didn’t appreciate him before) at how he loves his family, continues to work hard and he never judges anyone, unlike moi. I’m trying to stop a negative habit of jumping to conclusions which I never used to do, just by watching him react to people and situations.

    Of course, I learn new things from my adult children and their spouses. And our little grand-daughter. Life is an new adventure.

    And last but not least is this community of betties, cherries, writers and readers. A connection of brilliant minds to glean from.

  16. Who has taught me throughout my life? Let me count the stars in the sky it would be a simpler task.

    I’ve learned from my mom, my dad, grandparents, cousins, sister and brothers, nieces, nephews, friends, work colleagues and more importantly total strangers and enemies.

    From my enemies, I’ve learned how not to behave when I dislike someone. How not to treat another human being no matter how repulsive I may find them and their behavior.

    From total strangers, I’ve learned how to give and how to receive. How to provide sustenance to people simply because they are human and how to accept sustenance from others because I need it and they were there when I was far from home.

    And of course, from all of you, I’ve learned lessons big and small.

    I am with Lani, “Thank you universe for all of the teachers that you’ve sent to me when I was ready to learn the lesson.”

  17. Friends who know things I don’t know about. My niece and nephew. Therapists, especially my most recent one. My mom, sometimes. When I was younger and my little brother was still with us, I learned a lot from him because he was so bright and so willing to share and help. People I have met in the course of my very leopard-spotted career. I don’t know that people learn much from me, partly because I’ve developed the habit of listening more than talking, but I hope they do from time to time.

  18. stephanie says:

    I just transitioned into a new job and now work for an amazing woman. She radiates intelligence, patience, and understanding – all at the same time. I think this would be difficult under any circumstances but even now, with the internal temperature in our building hovering in the mid-80s she’s calm and welcoming.

  19. Mimi says:

    My youngest sons have included me in their journey through life with autism. I have learned about inner wisdom, focus and perseverance.

    My #3 son married a beautiful young lady from Romania. Corina lived through multiple nightmares, and every day she shows me that if you remain strong, believe in yourself and work harder than you thought possible, the sky’s the limit.

    My #2 son is in a relationship with a lovely young lady from India. Puji grew up in a series of boarding schools and is now in a local university. She teaches me the value of taking one’s responsibilities very seriously as well as looking for something interesting in every situation.

    At this moment, I am learning from the people I see every day at the cancer center. I sit in one waiting room or another and talk with patients or their loved one. I am so amazed by the resilience of each human spirit. I hope I can keep these lessons fresh in mind for the rest of my days.

  20. Micki says:

    I love learning, and I’ve learned so much from people, living and dead, through books, and the internet, and conversations.

    I have to agree that I’ve learned a lot from animals, too. Especially when there’s been more than one in the house — the way they relate to each other often provides me with insight about how people relate to each other. That “wrassling” isn’t always about dominance, but is sometimes just a way to play. About the comfort of just snuggling up to someone sometimes. About the importance of being curious and how it often leads to some fun (or a brother’s tail).

  21. Jill says:

    I learn from my kids and grandgirls all the time. Are kids smarter these days , more informed than I was at their ages ?

    My friends have taught me ‘stuff’ but they have also taught me to be open to being loved warts and all and how to cherish what we have.

    When I am with writers I am awed by their knowledge and their creativity. All the various Cherries in the Orchard, Argh People, Betties, ReFabers all amaze me. And do I ever learn from them. ‘Stuff” , and relationships, care and concern via the ‘net and with luck face to face.

  22. Redwood Kim says:

    One of the ones I miss the most is my mentor, Virginia, who ran a poetry workshop and convinced me to become a teacher. She died in 2000 – hard to believe she’s been gone so long.
    Right now, I’m learning positive parenting skills from the preschool teachers at my co-op, and from my children, on a daily basis. And my husband.

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