Kierkegaard: The Point of View
That if real success is to attend the effort to bring a man to a definite position, one must first of all take pains to find HIM where he is and begin there.
This is the secret of the art of helping others. Anyone who has not mastered this is himself deluded when he proposes to help others. In order to help another effectively, I must understand what he understands.
If I do not know that, my greater understanding will be of no help to him. If, however, I am disposed to plume myself on my greater understanding, it is because I am vain or am proud. So that at bottom, instead of benefiting him, I want to be admired. But all true effort to help does not mean to be a sovereign but to be a servant, that to help does not mean to be ambitious but to be patient. That to help means to endure for the time being the imputation that one is in the wrong and does not understand what the other understands... For to be a teacher does not mean simply to affirm that such a thing is so, or to deliver a lecture, etc.
No, to be a teacher in the right sense is to be a learner. Instruction begins when you, the teacher, learn from the learner, put yourself in his place so that you may understand what he understands and in the way he understands it...
Soren Kierkegaard, The Journals, 1854.