I like to consider myself a well read and constantly learning man. No, I haven’t gotten that gold embossed piece of paper yet, but soon I’ll have it. I used to feel, disappointed in myself for my slacking off in the education department, but those feelings quickly evaporated. While a degree has been, as yet, out of my reach, the knowledge to attain one has not.
Often, people are want to say that life is the greatest teacher, or experience is the best teacher. Well, they’re right. It is. Nothing can prepare a person for encountering a situation like going through it. Sometimes the situation gets the better of them, sometimes it doesn’t. The hope is that the needed knowledge is gained, and a lesson is learned. When this happens, a person’s wisdom increases. Sharing this wisdom can help others; especially if people take heed to the lesson.
While experience is the greatest teacher, reading a wide array of subjects is next. It pays to have varied tastes in reading materials, simply because it expands one’s mind. It also can help to force people to look at situations and issues from a different perspective than they otherwise would. Nothing, in my estimation, is sadder than individuals being exposed to new schools of thought and not at least considering the validity of the thought processes. What if how these persons originally thought was wrong? What if the newly exposed thoughts were wrong? Nobody would be able to agree, or disagree because they wouldn’t know the differing opinions. Why? Because they were not reading.
No matter how knowledge is gained, the point is to gain it! While there is nothing new under the sun, how the “same old, same old” can get presented to us does change. If an issue has been encountered before, then relying on past experiences will help with overcoming it. Even if the experience wasn’t had, if the issue has been read about, then that can help with overcoming it as well.
So dealing with situations may not make me, or any of us, experts. But, it will give us the ability to “call”on that gained knowledge in the future, as we then exercise wisdom.
What say you folks? Is experience really the best teacher, or is reading just as good?