Byron's Babbles

Being Eclectic

A couple weeks ago after doing my weekly social media posts about the books I am reading, one of my connections posted, “That’s an eclectic mix. Thanks for sharing.” This got me thinking about being eclectic. Inherent to the meaning of eclectic is the idea of a mixture. In the context of loving to learn from a mixture of intersectional (unrelated) genres, topics or authors I myself could be considered eclectic. I am such a believer in the power of intersectional learning. In fact I many times use things like how a toy is played with in my workshops to spur thinking about totally unrelated topics. For example, last week each participant received a toy and then had to find someone with the same toy and figure out how to use the way the toy was played with to solve an issue in their school. We had some incredible responses and discussion.

This also got me to thinking about the eclectic philosophers. These were a class of ancient philosophers who did not belong to, nor found any recognised school of thought, but drew ideas and doctrines from various schools. While I have some very definite core values/beliefs, I would have to say I do draw from and love studying various schools of thought. I am really not sure how I would continually grow and improve if I did not. I look at this as using diverse instruments and theories strengthened and harmonized when learned and used in a mutually reinforcing manor.

Remember, as human beings, we don’t just passively experience the social world around us. Instead, we actively construct that world ourselves through our actions and the ideas that guide them. Therefore, the more eclectic our sources to learn from, the more ideas available. We must also never forget that we may need to know what others know in order to solve our own problems. I like to approach everything as an exploring instead of an expert. Diversifying how and where we learn will not compromise our core values and beliefs.


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