291 - Filling Vessels or Kindling Flames

Episode: 291

Episode Title: Filling Vessels or Kindling Flames

Over two thousand years ago, thinkers and writers were theorizing about education. Here’s one insight we can apply today—next on The Perna Syndicate.


Ep 291 show:

Hello and welcome! It’s a new week on The Perna Syndicate and I’m your host, Mark Perna. Inspiration can come from anywhere, and recently, I’ve been inspired by a quote from the distant past. Around 100 AD, the philosopher Plutarch wrote, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”


What exactly did he mean by that? Maybe it was a reaction against rote learning without application. Maybe it was a reminder that even young and unformed minds can generate innovative ideas. He could also be saying that education should focus more on motivation than just memorization. 


I think we can all ask ourselves: are we filling vessels—or kindling flames? How are we approaching the younger generations?


To kindle a flame is to awaken the student, to show them the purpose of learning and then set them free to pursue it. To fill a vessel is to provide knowledge and insight. You see, I believe we should actually be doing both. The secret is that we must first kindle the flame. 


In our educational systems today, we spend an inordinate amount of time trying to fill vessels. But Generation Z is the first generation in history that will not allow us to fill the vessel until we kindle the flame. No kindling of the flame? No vessel filling. They will not move forward or take a step until they see the reason why.


We must show them the purpose for everything we want them to learn. As parents, educators, and employers, we have to kindle the flame. 


On tomorrow’s episode: have you ever considered that you’re being watched? That’s right—the younger generations are paying close attention to how those of us in older generations handle life. We’ll see you back here tomorrow on The Perna Syndicate!

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