“T” Is For Teachable

By: D. A. Slinkard

We are to the 20th article of 2022, and our letter is “T” for teachable. We should all be teachable, but the truth is not everyone has the right attitude. It has been said that when a person stops learning is when they start dying, and I believe this. It does not matter what age a person is, they should be teachable with their attitude and approach to life. There is always something we can learn in life to help make us a better person, yet many times people believe they have it all figured out. This attitude helps lead to a downward spiral not only personally but to the detriment of our society.

The question becomes – How does someone become teachable? The first thing we must realize is it will take work to have the right approach. We need to keep an open mind to understand we are not always right, and I know it may be hard to fathom, but there are times I am wrong. I must have an open mind to realize there are times I may be wrong about something. If you are wrong, you need to be able to own up to it — admit it and proceed forward; yet too often people have the hardest time admitting when they are wrong. Sadly, I end up being wrong quite often, but we need to learn how to respond to the times we are wrong.

Learning how to respond helps us to keep our ego in check, because if we are not careful, we can have runaway egos that create an ugly monster for us. How many people have been destroyed because they have thought themselves to be better than what they are? I can think of several people who have stumbled in life because of pride. I immediately think of Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” We need to be honest with ourselves – there are so many guiding principles from the Bible that could help everyone live a better life and live a life that impacts the world. Yet we have a segment of society trying to take the Bible out of society. Go figure!

When it comes to being teachable, I believe another factor that helps mold this mentality is how often a person asks for feedback. This is vital in improving ourselves, but we have become a society that wants to be told how great we are and do not want to concern ourselves with what areas we need improvement upon. Can you say, “Participation trophies?” We want to feel like a winner, yet some of the biggest lessons learned in life have come from the times I lost and not from when I was winning. Are you someone who can ask for feedback, and are you willing to do something with the feedback you receive? We all have things we can do a better job with in our life, but too often we do not want to take the extra effort it requires.

The next characteristic I think about when I think of someone who is teachable is respectful. This might not make sense, but we need to be respectful to those who are trying to give us feedback because I believe these people do so because they care. They want to see you do well, and chances are they have your best interests at heart. I will always remember when my dad would give me advice, or correction, he would say, “Son, I have seen the sun rise and sun set more than you have…” He was telling me he had more wisdom because he had lived longer, and we need kids to learn how to be respectful.

Sadly, we have a generation of kids who are brats. We have a generation of kids who get what they want, when they want, because they have soft parents. Sometimes waiting in life makes you work harder and teaches you patience. If a kid’s parents give them everything, it teaches them nothing but to be even more of a brat. Teachable is the word. If you want to have a better life, if you want to perform better on the job, if you want to be a more productive person in society – it is a word that must fit into your vocabulary. What are some things in your life for which you need to be more teachable? What steps can you take to improve your life

By: D. A. Slinkard

D.A. Slinkard would love your feedback. You can contact him at da.slinkard@gmail.com