What did you learn today?

john ater
2 min readDec 12, 2020

Consider writing a list of what you learned today and the teachers you encountered. Who pissed you off? How did you handle that? Who was rude to you? How did you handle that? Who was kind to you? What was your response to that? Who were all your teachers today? What did you learn from the emotions that surfaced in your interactions with them? Did your anger, pain, sadness, joy, tears, love, laughter surface? You learned a lot today from all the teachers you encountered.

Waiting on the 33 Haight February 20, 2020 before the shutdown.

Tomorrow, turn off the music on your cell, turn off the ringer, take out your earbuds, put them all in your pocket, get your head up, look at the world around you, listen to the beautiful, world class, cacophonous symphony constantly playing and watch closely for your teachers. They will appear in an instant and disappear just as quickly.

And the questions will always be the same: “What did I learn today, what did I learn about myself and what did I learn about my teachers? Did I vilify them or find in them things I don’t like about myself? Did I embrace them and find in them the things I admire about myself?”

In the end, you will learn the “secrets of the universe” when you search in your heart and spirit for your part and the lessons you learned from all those beautiful people who pissed you off, who scared you, who brought a smile to your face, who spoke kind words to you, who brought a tear to your eye.

Always ask, “What did I learn today?”

As you answer those questions, dig deeper, always deeper.

john ater | san francisco | © 2020

john ater

author / street photographer / writer / editor / iconoclast / anarchist