"You can learn a lot from a dummy." Remember those commercials about the importance of wearing your seatbelts? Even a crash dummy can give good advice.
I think we also can learn from dummies, and those from different cultures, races, religions, sexes, ages, and even personalities. We can learn just about anything anywhere, if we are teachable, open, and willing to learn.
We learn from our mistakes, why can't we learn from the mistakes of others. We're not always right, but we still want people to respect our opinions, so why can't we respect others when we feel they are wrong?
We've got a lot to learn about learning. So many times in Christian circles we bash, belittle, or look down on someone because they are not from our relgious group, circle, or denomination. I'm baptist so I can possible agree with anything a Catholic says. I am church of Christ so only people from the churches of Christ have anything good to say. I'm methodist and only the methodist have the market on intelligent quotes, books, and sermons. Do you see how easily it is to limit ourselves when we keep our circle of learning so small?
I don't have have to agree with Joyce Meyers or her doctrine to learn something from one of her books. I don't have to like Rick Warren's beliefs on baptism in order to learn something from one of his articles. I don't have to be Catholic to be inspired by a Mother Teresa quote. I don't have to be penecostoal in order to fellowship with my charistmatic friend.
Do you see that we can indeed learn from others? I do not believe in Mormonism or Jehovah Witnesses religion, but I certainly respect their commitment to their cause and they servant example. I don't have to agree with them or support them in order to learn from them.
Heck, I can learn from just about anyone, dumb criminals, my dog, or even people who I think are dumb. We can at the very least learn what not to do or say, lol. My point being, there is so much in this world to learn, and there is a difference in learning and being influenced, and the key is a mixture of common sense, willingness, and intelligence. I do not let every song, tv show, or news article influence me, but I don't stop listening to the radio, watching tv, or reading the newspaper because I disagree or don't like something I see, hear, or read.
I think God can teach us from our enemies, those we disagree with, and even those we oppose. We cn learn from experiences, problems, struggles, and daily life situations if we are open to learning.
My challenge for you and me is to open our eyes, ears, and minds to be able to discern and use wisdom and to be guided by the Holy Spirit. We miss so much God may be trying to teach us because we are so arrogant, ignorant, prideful, or disassociating form anything we don't agree with. We need to understand that you don't have to accept someones beliefs, stance, or even views in order to possibly learn something from something they say. If you learn something from something I've said today, then you have learned from a dummy, haha, seriously though don't be afraid to learn something from others, even those you disagree with.
Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.