Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thoughts On Learning By Experience

When I was younger, I used to wonder how ancient people knew which plants were poisonous and all the other amazing communal knowledge they had. But now I'm past my mid 20s and my brain has finally matured completely and I feel I've got quite a new look on that.

The reason I'm thinking of this crap to begin with is that I've learned a lot of pleasant and unpleasant things about myself and the world in the past few years that didn't really hit my brain until recently. Now I look at some of the stupid-ass decisions I made and think:

  • I wish I had had parents I could ask counsel from
  • I did a lot of stupid shit because I didn't know better
  • I was way to optimistic about people
...but mostly I think about learning from experience, and how much that just sucks most of the time. I know a lot more than I did before, but I'm not always convinced that the cost was worth the knowledge.

And then I think about those ancestors of ours and wonder how many of them died gaining knowledge for the tribe... because the only way they could have learned about not eating poisonous food or anything else is trial and error. Trial and error is still the only way we "know" anything as a society, we just call it the scientific method. But life sure is a lot messier than a laboratory.


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6 comments:

Keri Oki said...

Miss May -- sounds like you're having a case of the wallowings -- I get it -- hang in there -- this too shall pass...and as a little bit older I can say -- the learning usually does tend to be worth it -- but it could hurry up once an awhile!

May said...

I've been having a case of the wallowings forEVER! I'm just whining about it now ;)

Bryan said...

Wait till you hit thirty! Sheesh! ^_^

Maybe I'll call you and we can wallow together.

May said...

heh. It's not that bad, really. I just feel like I was a really dumb kid longer than I thought I was. Nobody likes to realize that.

Jenna said...

I loved the last line ...

I never really have put much thought into this before, but now I'm going to have to reflect.

Great post!

May said...

I didn't either until recently. :)