I do a lot of teaching both inside and outside of our organization. I often hear that the material I’m teaching is hard to understand. All this while, I’ve thought it was quite simple and easy to understand. Now, I’m on the other side of the coin.
I’ve recently had the experience of trying to learn something completely outside of my expertise from someone I’ve never met. There are a lot of things in common between what I teach and what he teaches (I thought) and so I thought it would not be hard to understand. Briefly, he, John Bedini, had stated that he has a way to do something that is seen generally as difficult or impossible but is easy to do if you understand nature in a different way. Anyone who has read this blog for a while will recognize the comparison to my way of treating addiction. Mr Bedini’s particular idea is a better way to charge a battery with little to no current and, rather than get into electronics over my head, I’ll just say that he states his way is to remove a barrier and let the battery charge itself. Anyone who has learned addiction treatment from me will see another parallel that attracted me to his work.
So I thought since I was someone who had gotten comfortable doing a difficult thing (treating addiction) and making it simple and easy by looking at it a different way, I’d probably have no difficulty understanding Mr Bedini. Well, I was sort of right. I can understand the broad concepts, but I can’t understand how to do it. So I’ve come to better understand the frustration of the counselors in our program.
I’ve longed for one of two things that I can’t seem to get: simple to follow instructions that will not fail if I follow them in every case or some simple explanation of the underlying principles so that I can understand them and build the machine myself. In fairness, let me say that Mr Bedini has authored many written and video presentations that he feels have done both of those things, and perhaps they do for electrical engineers, but for someone like me who’s electronic skills are limited to soldering, they don’t hit the spot. For one thing, no two batteries are alike, just as no two patients are alike, so neither he nor I can give invariable instructions that will work in every situation. On the other hand, the principles he teaches aren’t information I have never had, but rather information that contradicts what I learned in school, making it very difficult to learn. There is a parallel here again to my way to see addiction.
In watching Mr Bedini’s video’s I have heard him quickly flip out concepts that I never heard of and call it simple. I’ve seen him draw simple circuits from memory (that I couldn’t understand if I had months of study) and change them on the fly and know what the changes will result in. He has an intuitive understanding of how nature works in that area that baffles me. As I watch his videos I hear the counselors in our program asking the questions they do, and I understand that I have to do a better job making “simple” ideas clear.
Mr Bedini and I have something else in common. We both think we’ve found something, that if shared, will make the world a better place. I think he’s right; I hope I am. I can’t just make myself understand him, and I can’t change the way he explains things. I can change the way I do though. I’ll make you the promise that I’ll work hard at making things clearer.
© Howard C Wetsman MD FASAM