Saturday, March 22, 2014

All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Pocahontas

Posy by Ray Knight: Ray is in his first year of teaching Language Arts at Bettendorf High School. You can follow him on twitter @RayPKnight

Before I entered high school, my mother recommended I read All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.  I never read it.  But when considering what I really need to know, I am glad I have seen Disney’s Pocahontas.  Even while showing questionable judgment in dressing this Native American heroin more like a Jersey Shore night club aficionado, Disney Studios does produce nuggets of wisdom in the songs “Colors of the Wind” and “Just around the River Bend,” nuggets that are personally and professionally beneficial.

Former Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, took some flack when he commented on the “unknown unknowns” facing American military engaging terrorism.  Perhaps if he was as good a vocalist as Pocahontas, his message would have been received with less friction. 

In “Colors of the Wind,” Pocahontas councils John Smith, and us, that “if you walk the footsteps of a stranger, you’ll learn things you never knew you never knew.”  The problem with learning things we never knew that we don’t know is… we don’t know to learn them.  In my personal and professional life, I will learn things this week I wish I would have known last week.  If only I knew those things I don’t already know, then I could spend some time coming to know what I don’t yet know.  Luckily, Pocahontas has advice on how to identify what we don’t already know. (“Colors of the Wind”)

Pocahontas yearns to look, and I recommend we all take a look “just around the river bend,” even if we “don’t know what for” or for what knowing we might be missing.  As I strive to “look once more,” I am compelled to travel: to Italy, Mexico, Westeros, ancient Greece, and the Marvel Universe. I am compelled to do triathlon trainin and have actual conversations, etc.  Conversations are certainly my favorite; discovering new knowing face to face is about the most amazing discovery I've experienced. (“Just Around the River Bend”)

While I still don’t know everything I don’t yet know, I do know enough to keep looking, searching.  Perhaps I should watch Pocahontas ‘once more’ to see “what’s waiting there for me.”  

Anybody have a copy I can borrow?

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