Unlearning to Ride a Bike

Destin at Smarter Every Day desires to get just that—smarter every day—and then share what he’s learning with others.

In one of his videos he introduces the viewer to a bicycle that you cannot ride. He’s an engineer and one of the welders (who are also geniuses) where he works played a trick on him. He had designed a bike that when you turn the handle bars to the left the wheel goes right. And when you turn the handle bars to the right the wheel goes left.

Think about that for a second.

Now you’re probably thinking: “So I could jump on that bike and just learn how to turn the handles in the opposite direction. No problem.”

Problem. Just watch the video by clicking on this link here. Destin couldn’t ride it. He said, “My thinking was in a rut.” He shares his revelation that knowledge (which he had) does not equal understanding (that comes from experience that uses the knowledge successfully).

He started riding the bike every day and after doing this for eight months one day something clicked and he was able to ride it. But he says any minor distraction would set his brain back to its old way of thinking.

Later he tries to ride a normal bike again. At first he couldn’t do it. But twenty minutes into his attempts something got triggered in his brain and he was able to ride again. You can see it happening in the video.

Some things are not as easy as riding a bike. Unlearning so we can learn something new is difficult. He leaves us with what he learned which is that “truth is truth” and we look at the world with a bias whether we realize it or not.

The people in Jesus’ day did too. They thought the “together” people were the ones that could get in on the things of God. But Jesus came along and told them that wasn’t the case. The poor in spirit, the ones who are sad, the meek, the ones who want to see things set right, the ones who show mercy, the perfectionists who drive everyone including themselves crazy, the peacemakers who always have one side upset at them for not taking sides, those who get pummeled for standing up for what is right, and the ones who get ridiculed for following Jesus…all these were “blessed.” They could get in on the things of God too.

To the ones on the inside this was like trying to ride a backwards bike. It didn’t fit. You had to be rich or powerful or popular to be blessed by God. Even the disciples thought so. (see Mark 10:26)

But some believed Jesus. They got on the bike and started pedaling. They fell. They didn’t get it right away. But they opened their minds to the possibility that what they had thought was true might actually be backwards.

And when they did an entire kingdom opened before their eyes.

Destin says that once you have a rigid way of thinking in your head you cannot change it. I almost agree. I think you can change but it isn’t easy. I think it is difficult to change. Especially if you think you are always right.

But if you are secure enough to dialogue and listen and ask questions of others who may see things a little differently from you…well…you might just learn something new.

You may get a little smarter every day.

You may open your circles to people you previously kept out.

And you may find yourself riding gracefully into a new way of life.

Question: How can you learn to unlearn some things today?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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One thought on “Unlearning to Ride a Bike

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