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Photo by Kendall Marianacci, Nepal Semester.

Nothing Can Be Taught

As a child, you’re taught to walk and talk. You’re taught to kick a soccer ball around and how to tie your shoes. I was taught by my parents to say, “Please” and “Thank you.” My entire life I’ve been slowly acquiring new skills and being taught new things. So, when I saw a quote on a school board that read, “Nothing can be taught,” I was puzzled by what it could mean. I turned to Maya and asked her what she thought about it, “I would argue that knowledge is already within us; from the time we’re born we have the power to learn.” Lyza added, “You can’t learn something from being taught it, only through your own practice and experience can you learn.” I took a few minutes, contemplating to myself, before deciding that- although both valid suggestions- I couldn’t bring myself to accept either.
For the past three days, these words have been plaguing my thoughts. I’ve spent hours picking them apart and pages of my journal have been dedicated to writing down my inner monologue on the matter. But still, I’ve had no success of finding the overarching meaning behind it. What I have realized in my contemplations is that I don’t fully disagree with the statement; I think there is some truth to it. It’s the wording of it that has been bothering me. It just doesn’t seem complete in my own mind. In order to complete it I would add, “Nothing can be taught if you’re unwilling to learn.”
The time I’ve spent here in Nepal has been filled with new knowledge. I’ve been able to learn about the language, culture, and various religions. I came here with an open mind to any opportunities that were presented to me. I like to believe that it’s because of that that I’m going home with such a broadened mind. I was willing to learn about anything and everything that I could while I was here. And so, I was able to be taught by my instructors about the history of Nepal. I was taught by Sarita Ji how to speak Nepali. I’ve been taught by my homestay families how to cook traditional foods. It’s because I was willing to come to Nepal and I was willing to learn new things, that I was able to be taught while I was here.