I learned a lesson today! While that in and of itself is nothing new, in learning that lesson it taught me a more important one. If you have been reading this blog very long you probably already know that I am a big advocate of paying attention to what the hell is going on. Not just that but looking back and trying to put the pieces together so you don't repeat the same mistakes tomorrow that you made today. If you didn't make any mistakes today then you need to get off the couch and make a few or you are going to fall behind.
I have already known this to be true but occasionally it slips my mind and I have to relearn, such is the life, I guess. The first lesson that I learned is not for public consumption, at least not at this time. More importantly I learned or rather remembered that life is a university and experience is the Dean. You have no choice but to get your degree or die trying. There are no shortcuts to this degree. In earning that sheepskin in the university of life there is a set program of instruction. As these lessons are taught (mostly through personal mistakes) one gets to earn experience and progress to more advanced lessons with harder choices and bigger consequences. If for some reason you fail to comprehend this lesson, you are in essence "held back" to repeat it. Now being the excellent instructor that life is, the second and subsequent lessons seem to drive the point home with a little more conviction each time it is repeated. There is a big disadvantage to not getting it right the first time. For starters you can't progress until you get that one down. Second and probably more importantly, the consequences can get expensive, physically and emotionally. Here is an example: If you are a kid on the playground and you decide that you are going to punk out the big kid, you could get knocked on your ass. If you do you may have just learned an important lesson. If you don't get knocked on your ass that lesson is put on hold. The next time you decide to be a little asshole might be in high school and the cost is higher. Miss the lesson here and fast forward to adult hood. You might end up with an ice pick in your ribs. In that case it would have probably been better to learn how to keep your mouth shut when you were young.
Almost everything we do has a lesson to teach us, don't forget to look back at the daily mistakes and take note of them. For that matter look back at the successes and see if you can trace them back to a lesson learned through a previous failure. Ill bet that if you succeeded at anything it is because you earned a valuable experience that allowed you make a better decision this time. Now here is the kicker, and any parent of a teenager will validate this I MEAN ANY PARENT OF A TEENAGER.
They have to learn those lessons the hard way, you are not the chosen instructor in life you are a teaching tool. You can force the kids to conform to the "rules of the household" but you are doing them a disservice. the painless lessons that they are supposed to learn in adolescence are gonna come back and kick them in the face. It is no wonder that teenagers hate rules, it goes against the natural instinct to fail, learn and progress. Our job is to help them navigate to and from class without getting lost in the halls. Think of this the next time your teenager comes home late, smelling alcohol and sweat. The best thing that you can do is make them some bacon and eggs in the morning and enjoy the show. This is not to say that we should allow illegal activity to take place but if the damage is done help them see the lesson and guide them down the halls. For that matter we could all probably use a mentor in that respect, if one comes along recognize them, they are part of the journey. I have a mentor and he has helped me navigate some pretty dark waters in the fecal creek with out the proverbial paddle. So get back to your studies and start earning the only degree that really counts in life.