Recently, I was a part of a “raw” conversation, as my fellow raconteur so acknowledged it, about human connection. Curious about our own abilities to connect or feel loved by one another and with others, we ultimately began to address our own vulnerabilities; presumably because one cannot connect with another if he/she does not love oneself. It can then be assumed that if I can love the things that just make me…me, I can also do this as I make connections with others. This may provoke a very uncomfortable situation.

Can it be true? Do I feel…vulnerable? How often? By what?

Yes. When people see the grit, the “real” me….those frail sentiments that make us human, imperfect.

At this point we may do a number of things. Numb or mask this vulnerability by talking too much (or not at all)/eating (or not eating)/drinking alcohol/exercising/watching television/learning the excruciating “never frowning” face, etc.

Is it true then, to this effect, that we are never truly making connections with each other if we do not get to know ourselves?

Surprisingly, vulnerability was brought up again in another conversation I had with an old friend, a 4th grade teacher in Colorado. She spoke of this thing her colleagues, like most teachers we know, want—control.  Is this another “thing” we do to mask our vulnerability or fear of failure.

Question: How do we expect to encourage failure in our students—“it’s OK, you will learn from it!”—if we cannot let go of the damn classroom?

This TED Talk was sent to me today as a result of my original conversation on vulnerability. I believe it is useful for us as teachers, as it was for Brene as a researcher.

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