Student News

Words To Live By: Learning Takes Patience and Motivation

Mary Ellen Friends – May 28, 2014

VII.8: The Master said, “I do not open up the truth to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help out any one who is not anxious to explain himself. When I have presented one corner of a subject to any one, and he cannot from it learn the other three, I do not repeat my lesson.” –Confucius, c. 551-479 B.C.

The meaning behind this quote reveals to us that Confucius doesn’t choose to waste his time upon those who are not eager to learn and take in knowledge. It implies that in order to obtain fresh and new knowledge you need to have the motivation to discover that knowledge and the determination to dig deeper into that knowledge. Confucius also implies that we need to have open minds that are willing to accept new ideas from others; otherwise, we will never be able to learn. Another meaning behind Confucius’s thoughts is that in order to obtain new knowledge effectively and efficiently you need to be able to overcome your problems and not expect others to spoon-feed you answers and knowledge. You can’t rush into the discovery of knowledge; you need to take things step by step and be patient. Learning takes patience and motivation. 

This quote can relate to many students’ lives in Deerfield, including my own life. Individuals who choose to attend Deerfield Academy want to discover new sources of knowledge, such as trying out a sport or taking a subject they’ve never studied before. However, in order to achieve that, they need to have the motivation and the eagerness to learn and discover. A way in which the meaning behind this quote relates to my life is through my passion for dance and my goal to reach for the best of myself. In order to strive for success, not only do I have to have an open mind and listen to other people’s opinions, thoughts and ideas, I also have to be motivated and willing. By taking in knowledge and putting it to use through hard work, I can shape my learning styles and myself as a person. The way in which this quote can relate to my dance life is that in order for me to become an experienced dancer I have to be eager to take my coach’s advice and craft it so that I can apply it to my own dance style. This makes me more determined as an individual and allows me to explore the different “corners” of any subject so that I can discover ways in which I can improve myself.

Life at Deerfield doesn’t go by slowly; time goes by too fast. This quote can relate to life at Deerfield because all students who are eager to gain knowledge have to understand that they need to use their time wisely while gaining that knowledge. They can’t always expect the answers to come to them instantly. It takes time and determination to discover knowledge not just in the classroom but also through our own independent inquiry.

–Natalia Briones ’16