SLAP HITTER WITH SPIRIT

When I think of David A. Kolb, I mostly think of getting a tip from my pal Laine about a Sunday softball game played at Forest Hills Park since 1987 (or so). I laughed out loud when she suggested I might be able to dig out (2001) my impossibly large mitt (circa 1969) from wherever I left it in the aftermath of discovering the only sport I was ever any good at, doubles volleyball (Vermont, 1982-Cleveland 1996 r.i.p.).

I laughed because this casual ‘open space’ (anybody who shows up plays) ballgame was started by Kolb. But Kolb wasn’t just a weekend zen slap hitter, he happened to be an important theorist and philosopher of adult education. His tomes mentored me in fact and served up tantalizing pitches as if he was standing on some great mound in my mind.

As the Cleveland winter turns the corner toward the rutty diamond with its creaking old guys of summer, I’m reminded Dr. Kolb is a crafty ballplayer, and, the main guy in my practical cosmos of thought.

Here he covers both bases, all the bases.

The capacity for such integrated judgment seems to be borne out of transcendence, wherein the conflicts that those of us at lowe levels of insight perceive as win-lose are recast into a higher form that can make everyone a winner, or can make winning and losing irrelevant. And finally, with centering comes commitment in the integration of abstract ideals in the concrete here-and-now of one’s life. When we act from our center, the place of truth within us, action is based on the fusion of value and fact, meaning and relevance, and hence is totally committed. Only by personal commitment to the here-and-now of one’s life situation, fully
accepting one’s past and takign choiceful responsbility for one’s future, is the dialectic conflict necessary for learning experienced. The dawn of integrity comes with the acceptance of responsibility for
the course of own’s own life. For in taking responsibility for the world, we are given back the power to change it. (D.A.Kolb)

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