The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.
— Frank Herbert
Moments ago, I was sitting on our living room sofa, my index finger and thumb jammed in my mouth, drooling on myself. And no, I am not dying of starvation and beginning the slow process of eating my unnecessary limbs. I’m trying to learn how to whistle. The loud way.
Besides using this new method of whistling as a delightful method to wake my sister up in the morning, it is something I haven’t been able to do all my life.
Similar to getting any of my writing published. But I’m taking baby steps here.
But more than just having a variety of party tricks at my disposal, I feel it’s important to push ourselves to learn new things—things we may have previously had no interest in. Let me give an example with myself.
Cooking. Beyond working the microwave or the butter knife, my culinary expertise is quite lacking, or in other words, absent. Or more accurately, nonexistent. Or to be precise, getting me to cook a legitimate meal is like trying to teach a starfish a juggling routine.
It doesn’t even make sense in hypothetical situations.
But recently, I took a cooking class. Granted, it was not something I initiated (my mother secretly used some psychology tricks I had shown her to get me to take a class with my sister), but it is something I’m glad I did.
There, we learned how to make a variety of Hors d’œuvres. (And that just took me five minutes of Google searching to learn how to properly spell orderves—in French it means: “apart from the main work”). And although I was assigned the two “easiest”, but I’ll be honest, most flavorful, appetizers we could select from, I learned a little more about cooking. And patience.
For in addition to staining my one pair of good shorts with a strawberry and vinegar concoction, I somehow managed to bungle the three-ingredient recipe I had been assigned.
Remember, baby steps here.
But even though I was uncomfortable in the beginning, middle, and, well, even the end of the class, at least I was pushing the envelope—or maybe the spatula—toward learning new skills.
For like most people, I don’t really like to do public activities I’m not good at. But if I never did any of them, then I probably wouldn’t even be writing this blog.