Wouldn’t it be great if we all knew how to live and love without needing to be told how? But looking around, it begins to seem as if we have lost that knack. Instead, we have coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, mentors, therapists… and look back with almost romantic nostalgia upon simpler times, when the world wasn’t mad and we did not need professional help.
I contend that the longing is misplaced. Therapists and teachers have always been around, we have always needed them…we just called them by a different name. Most of them didn’t specialise in one fragment of human need, but brought a lifetime’s experience to the problem at hand. We called them elders, wise-women, druids, minstrels, priests or storytellers.
The practical skills would be taught by those who knew best. Granny would teach you how to spin or make bread, while grandfather told tales of the hunt or plough…
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