Sonny_OrrLong ago, before Facebook and email, before television and radio, before we knew what a university was or an outside place to get schooled without being taken away by force or trickery, there was the hands-on training method.

This was called the old school way of learning. If you didn’t listen to your teacher, whoever it was – parents, grandparents, family and even the schoolteachers – you would lose out on valuable information that could save your life, for what it was worth. This was knowledge and it was biologically based and stored in a chemical solution called the brain and then transferred to a long-lasting substance, like a flat rock or a rugged piece of paper.

Our learning process was intensively visual and a good memory and good habits helped a lot. When you couldn’t get by, gentle ribbing or even a hostile push of your ego into the abyss of helplessness made the real world, well… real.

This old school way of learning is the most utilized method of teaching in the world, as most of the world doesn’t have access to the modern way of education. However, since old school methods are still widely used, let us not forget that the old school demanded strength, commitment, determination and the drive to get it done and go to work and make some money!

Today, the drive to learn uses modern technology, without the hassle of hands-on experience. But, in a way, we are caught between the old school way of learning and the new school system. Many people believe that a child needs the right guidance to find their own way, that one who is learning must feel some pain to understand what it is and the sense of accomplishment to boost their self-esteem.

I was taught that life is like a butterfly. First, the need for abundance and an environment good to raise young ones is required. Then the cycle of growth, the caterpillar to slowly move around and consume energy and store it, then the cocoon phase where change takes place from infant to adulthood, then the pain of entering the adult world.

Watching this on a nature channel shows how much the butterfly struggles to enter into the world. You feel the pain and see the incredible strength needed to exit the cocoon they have lived in for so long. One tried to assist the emerging butterfly by breaking off the cocoon, but the butterfly collapsed and died.

Apparently for the butterfly, what is mistaken for pain is actually a hydraulic pressure activation process, where pressure from exiting the cocoon is needed to evenly distribute the much-needed liquid skeleton – in this case, the exoskeleton – around the body before it could harden into place.

For a mosquito, this process takes the time of an eye blink. For a butterfly, it is amazingly slow. So, pain, endurance, strength and existence often have close ties to a butterfly’s cycle of life. Sometimes, we need to look back at our young lives and see where we grew because of pain and suffering. Most times you will see the emergence of that “butterfly.”

So next time you see a butterfly flutter by, think about going through life, old-school style.