I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.
e.e. cummings, American poet, painter, and essayist
“I love this quote especially because it actually telescopes out into a whole philosophy of heart. He says I’d rather learn than teach: I’d rather learn from one “how to” than teach ten thousand “how not to.” And finally, what is he learning from? He says I’d rather learn from one bird – something that is natural, that is animated, that is alive – how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance. Even if the stars are up above us, they’re still alone and not in the world. So, with that he reminds me of how the power of one heart in the world means more than all the books we could read or all the insights we could weave from those books, if we don’t live it in the world.”
Mark Nepo, author of More Together Than Alone:
Discovering the Power and Spirit and Community in
Our Lives and in the World