Experience Is The Best Teacher
The fact that we still text and drive despite everything we know and hear is proof that experience is the best teacher.
You can tell someone not to do something until you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day, your advice is second to life’s lessons.
This is not to say it’s not worth warning a friend about entering dangerous territory, or suggesting to a loved one that they make a different choice.
It’s just to say that experience almost always wins.
Most of the time, though, it is better not to have experienced something in order to learn a lesson.
Like texting and driving, for example. I would much prefer to learn not to text and drive the way I learned my times tables—memorization and being bribed with posters—than to learn via a fender bender or worse.
And for my friends, I would much rather they learn things like self-respect and gratitude through multiple exposures of those things from me and others, rather than learning these important values through the consequences of poor choices and life’s accidents.
But so it is, or so it seems. We never know what we need to know until it’s too late.
It’s tempting, then, to look back and think, “If I had known then what I know now…” but alas, through experience, I know better than to think this thought.
Because if I had known then what I know now, certainty might have grounded me. And the last thing I needed was dreams as high as the sky but a mind grounded here in reality.
If I had known then what I know now, I might not have dared so greatly or risked so much.
If I had known then what I know now, things would have been different, that is certain, but I am of the belief that everything is happening just as it should be.
So let experience be the best teacher. Give your advice and share a helpful word or two even when it’s not asked for, but remember all of the things experience has taught you, and trust it will do the same for others.