A professor walked into the class and gave his students a test. The test was a blank page with one little black spot in the middle.
He advised his students to write about what they were seeing on this sheet.
All of the students wrote about one thing. They wrote about the black spot.
No one wrote about all the white on the page and what can be done with all of this beautiful not defined space.
No one talked about the possibilities, the freedom, the creativity that could be realized on the blank part of the paper.
No one talked about how the black spot could be developed into something bigger, meaningful and harmonious.
No one talked about the perfection of the white color and the smooth texture of the paper.
No one said they are grateful for the opportunity to do something useful with all the white space on the page.
No one said, thank you for the invitation to dream and invent on this almost empty sheet.
His conclusion was that basically all of his students failed the test.
The main part was missed by everyone. But he decided they would not be graded on this test. Though, they would keep the memory of it. That is what’s crucial.
When I read about this story two concepts came to my mind.
First: This teacher truly understood human nature.
– We are pure creative potential. But this potential has to be woken up.
It sleeps when we only see black spots.
Second: All the important lessons in life are
– not the ones we get graded on at school.
Without memory there is no learning. I have almost no remembrance of all the German lessons that I endured for 12 years. Except for one, where we put a poem into motion and had to move to the words. The other lessons comprised of sitting at a desk doing stuff not relevant for me. No memory, no learning, time stolen.
Education, for the most part, is based on narrowing down who we are and the content of our thinking. We are not lead to be dreamers, inventors, explorers.
We are not taught to think. But to repeat correctly.
We are trained to fill in forms, to obey rules against life, do mindless paperwork, please robots, feed hungry algorithms with our data and pass multiple choice tests.
What if all choices in those tests are wrong?
What if we are not made to satisfy AI?
What if life is meant to be something totally different?
What would happen to us when we stop staring at black spots but see all the white space?
All the best and
with so much love,