I have always had an issue with traditional education. The presumption that ingesting facts and figures was the answer to everything in life never made sense. Now that I have a few decades behind me, I find that the presumption makes even less sense than it did when I was young. Life is more than books. Life is about living. Life’s answers do not emerge from formula that I read or memorize. A critical element in learning and living is found in experience.
I willingly admit that experience, especially an individual’s, is not the answer to everything. Learning is combination of facts, figures, understanding what others have seen and gone through, and one’s experience. For any individual, it is the addition of experience that allows one to shape one’s learning into something that is useful.
It is important to realize that this approach is not new. It has been tried and tested for generations. One wisdom father from deep in our past documented the reality of his experience. “We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.” (1 Corinthians 2.13)
It is relevant to understand the role that others play in our learning. We do not need to start at the beginning. Others have and are struggling with issues and challenges similar to ours. In listening to their stories one will have the opportunity for insight. In understanding their failures as well as their successes, one holds an opportunity to see ideas tested and validated. In walking with them, one vision expands in unique ways.
It is helpful to start with truth. Truthful facts and figures are powerful. They are a source of strength. By uses them to frame our choices, we have the opportunity to make better ones.
I have more questions as today begins than I do answers. I know that I must grasp and hold onto truth. I know experience is a great teacher. I need both.