Susan’s mom started giving her sex education from the tender age of six. Of course, as a wise and knowledgeable mom, she gave Susan the bits appropriate for her age, progressively. By the time she was nine, Susan could tell a whole lot about the subject. She knew well what results sexual activities could yield, what it meant to abuse sex, what young people like her stood to lose or suffer by indulging prematurely. She was no novice.
Now, when Susan got into Secondary School, her favorite teacher, the History Mistress, always used the slogan, “Experience is the best teacher!” Susan had pondered this statement time and again. One day, when she was 12, she decided her teacher had to be really right, and for her to gain “better understanding” of concepts, she had to “experience” them herself! “Wonderful idea!”, she thought.
Her eyes lit with a curious fire as she left school that day. Her mind was made up! She was going to explore the experience of teenage/unwanted pregnancy she had heard her mom talk of for years. She was going to find a male to impregnate her and then she could learn first hand and be able to tell better, “by her own experience”, what it really meant to have a teenage pregnancy.
Did I hear you say IMPOSSIBLE?
Did someone just say NO WAY?
Makes no sense. Right?
Sorry! This is not one of those stories you find on social media and then have the writer tell you at the end they were only pulling your legs.
I am driving at something!
Experience may indeed be the best teacher, but if you would have to learn everything you need to know in life through your own experience, how long do you imagine you would last? It would definitely be foolish and self-destructive to go that road, don’t you think?
Well, as unrealistic as our story may seem, in practice, there are so many cases that are almost exactly like the one you’ve just read. Think about it! People have seen others fall victim of a particular circumstance; taken turns that led them to very hurtful ends, yet, for one reason or another, they still choose to go the very same route(s) – perhaps hoping it won’t turn out that bad for them. But how? Are you more special?
Are we saying you must be absolute (perfect) in all you do, or be so fearful of making mistakes that you do nothing at all? No! Of course, in the process of life’s journey, some mistakes may be made – and the wise gets to learn from them and move forward.
But did you know that so very many mistakes in life can be avoided if only we will pay more attention? The Holy Book makes it very clear that there’s practically no experience one would have today (no matter how ugly, sad, or hard) that no one ever had before! (1 Cor. 10:13).
I can tell you this – one of the best ways to learn from experience is to find someone else who’s got it (experience in that area you’re interested in learning about) and drawing lessons from them.
Look at it this way. You’re about to go on a journey, a place you’ve never been before, but have heard of and have been told the path to it is fraught with surprises, challenges, risks, unexpected turns, etc. You definitely would be better of asking those who have traveled that route before (and if possible, having one or more of them guide you through). You want to know how they got there, what they saw in the process, what they did with what they saw, how they conquered – or lost.
I’ll emphasize again, to attempt learning all you need to know by your own experience, is to plan for your own big crash.
By reading books, I have found that I could tap into others’ 25, 30, 50 years’ experience in diverse areas. I strongly recommend reading good books. In fact, you ought to do some meaningful research before taking especially major steps. You want to get into a particular line of business? Someone has written something about it! You want to get into a relationship? someone has written about it! You’re going to have a child and raise them? Someone has wtitten about it! You are in a confused position, and don’t know what to do, whether to go this way or that? Someone has written something about the exact same kind of situation! Read!!
Also, asking #questions can be very enriching. Having a mentor or mentors who are willing to give you their time is a treasure. Pursue such! And given the opportunity, ask all you can. There’s a lot of wisdom you can draw from people of great experience. Don’t go jump in an ocean to “experience” what it means to drown. You are not likely going to make it back to tell the story. Ask someone who knows, or who knows someone who knows, or who has been researching about the subject of your interest.
Many things in life are predictable. Paths have been traveled, feats achieved, failures seen, victories won. People of experience can tell, just by observing, how a person’s life will turn out – if no drastic change happens. Most of the time their predictions are correct. Why? They’ve been here a while and have “seen” (or maybe applied the principles of learning from others’ experiences). Never take such for granted.
You can choose the future you want and get the experience you need. Reliable sources abound. Go for a great life!
You CAN get it right!
Onome Kinggirl Shaka
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