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Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Learning from Experience

I wonder sometimes about the value of learning from experience. Because I believe that each situation must be taken individually, and each person must be related to separately. I am not sure how much can be learned from experience, especially bad ones. I am not saying that someone should put their hand down on a hot iron time and time again - that would be silly. But to generalize about a group of people based on a bad experience you have with one of a group seems silly also. As in a lot of things in life, I think there has to be some balance. Rambam, Aristotle, Montaigne - I have read things by all three this year about the art of moderation, or acting upon a mean. So, I think it can't be all or nothing. But I wonder what exactly we should learn from and what we should overlook. Bad things happen and they leave us scarred and scared. But time heals, and looking back often makes you realize that those bad things are often the greatest growing experiences that you had. I think the greatest thing I have learned from all my experiences is that Hashem has gotten me through all of them, and has been with me always. And I think He will continue to give me the experiences I need to learn from. So I guess at this point, I want to take the good I learn from experiences, and try to put a positive spin on the bad. I don't want to stop considering each person as an individual, because then I fear I might miss out on some of the amazing people who Hashem puts into my life to enrich it.

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