Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Each One Teach One?”  Someone recently said this to me and while it might be self-explanatory to some, I wanted to know a little more about this phrase and how it originated.  I am so thankful that I did.

Each One Teach One

According to the organization, Each one teach one,  “Each one teach one” is an African proverb that originated in America during slavery times. Slaves were seen as chattel and therefore denied an education so when one slave learned to read or write, it became his duty to teach someone else.”

The “Each One Teach One” concept was also carried forth in the mission of Dr. Frank Laubach and his language and literacy movement in which he taught many to read and write and the responsibility that it becomes to teach someone else to read and write.

We have all been in the space where we have been hired for a position.  We presented certain qualifications and skills that got us hired for the job; but we really did not go into the role knowing everything that we needed to know right off the bat.  We had to go through orientation; we had to attend training ---- even if it was on-the-job training; like being thrown to the wolves.  What else did we do to learn the job?  We asked questions.  We shadowed someone.  In some instances, we were assigned a mentor/a buddy.

What about in your other roles – for example as a parent?  We seek to instill certain values, beliefs, and principles in our children or grandchildren.  How can you “each one teach one” in your children, in your grandchildren, in your fellow church member, in your sibling, neighbor, spouse, or your good friend?

Just think about the knowledge you have gained in every area of your life.  Think about the failures you have had.  The successes.  The lessons learned.  What are you doing with the knowledge; the gift, the talents, the abilities that are deep within you?  What are you doing with the blessings you have received?

I know some will say in response that you have to keep your guard up and you have to be careful of what you share with others and what they might do with what you have instilled in them; but remember, you can only control what you can control.  What if there wasn’t someone to teach you or help or serve you?  Yes, please use good discretion, but think of what could happen in our realm of space if we sought to bring out the best in people; to pay it forward in people and “each one teach one!”

What if we started a Call To Action and strive to “Each One Teach One” and seek ways to be light and discover ways to give illumination to someone else's life?

Don’t allow your opportunity to serve and develop others around you to fall by the wayside unused.  You have been placed in the space you are in and it’s not by any coincidence; rather a purpose.  As a result, remember, your gifts, talents, blessings, accomplishments, successes, failures are not just for you and your development and growth.  Your gifts, talents, blessings, accomplishments, successes, failures are to “Each One Teach One.”

Ways You Can “Each One Teach One:”

1. Mentor 2. Help train someone else 3. Live by example

Chaitra Hall

MTN Universal, LLC

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