Lay Down Your Defenses

By Geoffrey Geddes

Lay down your ego weapons periodically and appreciate, and perhaps applaud, your adversaries. People rarely show up to a fight empty-handed. Today I met the guy who studied under the guy who studied under Carl Rogers. I met a woman who worked on the unsafe side of a locked door with insane killers. I met a woman who thinks that we’re all miracles of poetic magic (and she was downright convincing).

I realized that these folks are neither my opponents nor my impediments to a good grade; they are my angels, delivered by providence to nurture my skills as a helper and comforter. No, they aren’t really angels. And no they weren’t really delivered by anyone or anything. But how woefully inadequate is “gee, I’m glad I enrolled at Saybrook.”

Have I finally turned in my schoolboy suspenders? Can I finally sit at a table with other grown-ups and discuss and debate and learn without sweating imagined scrutiny and competing for pith points?

I shook many hands today, and remembered many names and asked many questions and made many remarks. I downloaded syllabi and uploaded profiles and revealed truths and consoled kindred cohort members. Did you know that one of my professors is the president-elect of Division 29 of the American Psychological Association? Hang on while I flick this dust off my shoulder.

And the food!  Salmon and broccoli and lentils and gluten-free noodles.

I even showed up for the evening “get to know you” game. The game was cancelled due to insufficient attendance. But I was there.

Why can we not access the wisdom of age before our bones creak?  The answer is in the question, I suppose: the wisdom of age is not the passion of youth. But, what’s wrong with jumping right to the passion of wisdom?

Gee, I’m glad I enrolled at Saybrook.