Experience is the Best Teacher
I remember sitting in Psychology 101 and listening to my teacher explain Freud, Pavlov and Jungian Psychology. Each one of them had created theories about human behavior based on their own personal experience. As I got older, what I started to learn was how my own personal experience, or lack their of, can shape my perception of reality. We grow up being taught a specific set of rules and beliefs from our parents, social circles, culture, and of course, our teachers. This creates a world view for us, a lens if you will, that allows each of us to the view the world based on our experience and what we have been taught. And this is where I want to focus on today, teaching, is critical to gain understanding on how to do something, but no amount of teaching can take the place of actually doing what has been taught.
Perception is Reality
You have probably heard the old adage, “Perception is Reality.” What we perceive to be true for us, is a reality. If you are colorblind, then the world is a different color for you than for others. Check out this video of a man who sees the world in color for the first time. His reality was suddenly changed in an instant. Warning… you might shed a few tears of joy at his reaction.
“People grow through experience if they meet life honesty and courageously. This is how character is built.”- Eleanor Roosevelt
According to The Grammarist: “The admonition to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes means before judging someone, you must understand his experiences, challenges, thought processes, etc. The full idiom is: Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. In effect, it is a reminder to practice empathy.”
Without experience we can sympathize with a situation, but we can’t truly empathize and fully understand something. Experience is a powerful teacher and one experience can change everything you understand about the world and your world view in an instant. When I watch the video of the 65 year old man who sees color for the first time I can’t help but think how his entire world was changed in an instant. Boom. He will never see the world the same way again.
So remember to keep an open mind. Always be open to learning and growing and new experiences. Read books. Continue to educate yourself and grow. You will be enriching your life all while learning to appreciate the world around you at the same time.
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