Thursday, 4 August 2011

Even Porcupines do it! - An example of Social Learning "Just in Time"

I am going on holiday for a week or so tonight with my wife to celebrate our recent 40 years of happy marriage, so there will be a liitle while before my next post.  Thanks for your interest in my Insights into Communities in social learning.  Before I go.......

I just love this little story, a perfect example of social learning that occurs out of peer experience and common necessity:

It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold.  The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm.  This way they covered and protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.  After a while, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. 

So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.  Wisely, they decided to go back to being together.  They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the warmth that came from the others.   This way they were able to survive.  

Moral of the story: The best community relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities.

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