You can learn from experience, but you don’t have to!

In olden times, so I’ve been told, older people were considered wiser. The young ’uns deferred to the elderly for their accumulated wisdom.

Keep in mind, of course, that the old folk were probably in their forties or fifties. People live a lot longer now than they used to, in most of the world, since we’ve figured out how to avoid dying from various plagues. Still, there is often much to be learned from older people.

Except…

Except that not everyone gains wisdom with age. You can learn from experience, but you don’t have to. You can just have experience and fit it into whatever mental molds you have sitting around. The mind is very good at chucking out things that don’t fit its images and stories, and keeping the things that do fit.

So as you go through life, remember that experiences are there to be learned from. Let every day’s headlines test your assumptions about reality. Let every day’s experiences become a learning experience. Let every project become an opportunity to change how you think and work (or play).

As you grow older, try to fit into your position as a wise elder. We can learn from experience, but we don’t have to — still, we’ll get along better if we do.


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