Experience can be a great teacher, assuming that one is willing to learn. There is a natural assumption that follows related to making the same mistake again. Obviously, if one has learned, then one will not make a repeat mistake. I do not find much reality in the premise. Unless something fundamentally changes something within, one will go through a variation on the decision process with a high likelihood of a similar result.
Decisions are often the outcome of the process that occurs when the values and priorities one holds deep within come together with the reality of living. Despite what we would like to believe, one does not need to think in order to make decisions. It might help, however, far too often our thoughts as we make decisions are more about what we think we are expected to do or be and less about what we really believe. In my experience, it is more important to learn why one made the choices they did and then work on the value inside, than it is to concentrate on decisions that may be made in the future. At the core, unless we change what is on the inside, we will use the same criteria to make variations on our decisions for as long as we have the opportunity.
One community assumed freedom would change everything. It did not. Even with a fresh start, when things got tough, “they craved the old Egyptian ways, whining to Aaron, 'Make us gods we can see and follow.'” (Acts 7.39) Freedom, resources, and power will not improve our choices. We already have as much of these things as we need.
Experiencing the values we aspire to hold within helps. After living in Singapore, I find myself unwilling to litter. The ideal of keeping my community clean, no matter where I find myself, has embedded itself deep into my soul. As I experience compassion, I find myself wanting to honor the gift of honors by living with a compassionate manner towards others. Being intentional gives birth to my heart's intent (values).
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