If you’re color blind, you might not notice the various shades of green and that’s too bad. Life is about appreciating details. So many times we fail to notice how one thing can go in so many different directions.
Take pasta, for instance. Most people like spaghetti and lasagna, but make it a little differently and you have fettuccine, vermicelli, bucatini, and capellini. I feel more romantic just saying them!
Focusing on a specific thing, like the color of the plants, the many ways a lesson can be taught, the number of ways to make pasta, helps our brains block out other things and learn. This is particularly important in the classroom when we want students to learn a new idea. Because teachers have to compete with the students’ sensory and short-term memories in order to convince their brains to learn (instead of dumping the teaching straight into their brain black holes), teachers work especially hard to attract and focus student attention in order to teach.
As adults, we have to do the same kind of focusing in order to learn. That brings me to today’s activity. Take something that interests you (like cinnamon) and think of all of the ways you can use it. It might be a tea, used in a steam bath, used to scent a candle, used to make a cookie, etc.
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“I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets …” George Washington Carver