Categories
A Shot of Encouragement

The Golden Rule of Reading

The “Golden Rule of Reading” – however you want others to read what you’ve written, so read what they’ve written. At least start by considering their claims to be true. This isn’t immature, it’s loving. Love believes all things, it doesn’t doubt all things.

This applies to all sorts of material, but maybe most to what has been written in Scripture. At least when starting out:

Read carefully, not assumingely.

Read charitably, not critically.

Read acceptingly, not suspiciously.

For even more mental marination, Joe Rigney wrote “Do Unto Authors – Four Principles for Reading Well” in which he talks about Golden Rule Interpretation.

And with confirmation from Isaac Watts in 1741:

“Lastly, remember that you treat every author, writer, or speaker, just as you yourselves would be willing to be treated by others, who are searching out the meaning of what you write or speak.”

On the Improvement of the Mind
Categories
Bring Them Up

What We Need to Work On

I heard George Grant give a workshop talk at the 2017 ACCS National Conference called “Tools for the Toolbox.” I could not find a link to it anywhere, BUT he reworked/focused his material and gave it as a plenary talk at the 2018 conference under the title “Lifelong Learning: Following in the Footsteps of Isaac Watts.”

Grant works through 10 principles in Watts’ book, On the Improvement of the Mind (which according to Grant is a follow-up to Watts’ Logic textbook, ha).

It’s a talk about learning as repentance, about remembering that we do not remember as we should, that we have not read or learned all we need to, and that we should identify areas where we’re ignorant/weak, then set goals and a schedule, and get to work growing and getting stronger.

Grant nails this flush between the 19:30 and 20:30 minute marks. He does not elaborate on it as much as I thought he did in the workshop talk, but, whatever. Rather than (only/primarily?) focus on maximizing our strengths, as most of the current productivity content counsels, it’s “healthy to take a broad estimate of everything we’re not, everything that we can’t, everything that we won’t.” That way we know what we need to work on.

This strategy is good for making progress as disciples, and it is also appropriate for the education/enculturation of every student. Teachers aren’t good teachers because they can see what a student is already good at, teachers are also trying to turn a student’s “can’t”s into “can”s. That teachers should be motivated examples of this, not just motivated enforcers of it, seems more than appropriate.

Related, here’s a great story (that my swim-loving wife shared with me) about a young man who keeps choosing to jump into the deep end to get better. “If I couldn’t handle not being good at something, then how could I consider myself a successful person?”