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Young People … Our Greatest Resource

Can What We Learn from the Past Hurt Us?

Here’s part of a comment to my last post (you can read the whole thing at your leisure):

An experience can only be learned from fully if it is not clouded by assumptions from the past…otherwise your attention is not fully on the experience and lessons are missed because of it.

Certainly, some assumptions from the past can hurt us severely in present situations and the decisions and actions they require. I can’t tell you how many times a capable student has said to me “I can’t” regarding something that was well within their skills and ability.

 In any line of work, the concept of “experience” seems to be important enough that folks pay a person more for having it.  If you needed a good attorney, would you rather pick one fresh out of law school? Hey, they’ve never lost a case, but they’ve never won one either! Most folks would prefer an attorney that’s been around the block a few times.

What if you needed surgery? Wouldn’t you prefer to pick a doctor who’s done your procedure 500 times and has written journal articles on it?

What value are “lessons” if they are never applied to future situations and problems?

 I don’t argue that we are either benefactors or victims of our prior experiences but, on balance, I’ll take experience.

Besides, I like John Wayne, too!

James Sutton, Psychologist 


January 11, 2007 - Posted by | Educators, Inspirational, Parents, Self-esteem

1 Comment »

  1. It’s all collective. Sometimes we over correct this is true or we take the wrong information from life’s lessons and circumstances. Eventually though (hopefully) we put it all together and even learning a lesson incorrectly can be a lesson in itself.


    Comment by Desiree | January 13, 2007 | Reply

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