funny how we tend to dismiss the importance of other
people's experience. "It won't happen to us that
way," we say, or "I'll do it differently, and the
results will change." Yet as adults, we spend
much of our time and effort trying to get young people to
avoid the mistakes we made, to miss out on the difficulties
we faced. And as children, we spend our time creating
our own experiences, even though mom and dad seem to be
trying to do so.
the mistakes that others have made can be extremely
important, but so can doing the same things, only
differently, can also be valuable. Was the mistake
trying to fly, or was it the way that someone tried to
fly? Was the mistake in buying the house, or was it in
buying a house that was too expensive, too large, too small,
too old? We have to look at more than simply the
surface of someone else's experiences to understand just
went wrong so that we can learn from that experience and
possibly use it to help us to do successfully exactly that
which someone else already has tried.
experiences, if I learn from them, can keep me mostly free
from sorrow. I don't believe that anyone lives
completely free from sorrow, as Ray implies is possible, but
I do believe that we can improve the quality of our lives by
learning from experience, and then making sure that our
actions reflect that knowledge so that we don't make the
same mistakes that others have made, or the same ones again
that we've made before.
of bemoaning our experiences, let's use them to help us to
learn and to grow, and make them valuable parts of who we
are. If we do so, we can improve not just our lives,
but the lives of many of the people with whom we share this
planet, day after day.