Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sadder but wiser

The more you do, the more mistakes you are likely to make. Only those who sit on their hands are not infallible. Even wicked corporations hold such approach dear! The more we experience, the more nasty situations life puts us through, the opportunities to learn we receive. Lucky those who do not need to draw conclusions from their own missteps and wise those who intently observe fellow people’s slip-ups, analyse them and take precautions not to repeat them.

It all commences in childhood. I remember well when my mother warned me not to put a finger into a burning flame on a gas stove. Obviously, I refused to listen to her and burnt my finger. Lesson learnt – keep fingers away from flames. Alternatively, the lesson learnt could be to listen what you parents say. With hindsight, coming back to choices made by me when I was a teenager or a student, I recognise my parents were usually right (I have never admitted it to them, as such statement would have all appearances of asking for continual advice) and often ask myself what they would advise me in a specific situation, how would they react if I told them about my crazy idea or what they would rebuke me over. By the way, I recall now a training delivered by a coach who claimed parents in Poland do not support their children ingenious ideas, but do their utmost to discourage their offspring from pursuing their ambitions, especially the dicey ones.

I also wonder what can prompt humans to give up on silly activities that might severely harm them? Would throwing up all contents of one’s bowels prompt a binge drinker to become more restraint with alcohol, or would they need to commit a crime or lose a job to get the eye-opener? Would causing an accident persuade a fan of fast driving to stick to speed limits? Or would a severe fine be helpful enough? What else, except for unwanted pregnancy or contracting an illness, would convince a person who indulges in occasional sex to hold their horses? How heavy shortage of money would urge a reckless shopper to think twice before spending money on stuff they don’t need?

I strive to look at other people’s and mine mistakes. Watching humans stumble but not necessarily fall fills me with confidence that cool-headed approach to life pays off. Holding back before making hasty decisions, minding the consequences, putting oneself in someone else’s shoes and trying to guess their perception of a situation, these all make up precious guidance how to become wiser and avoiding the side effect of being sadder.

Lastly, I ponder upon circumstances which can throw an individual off their sanity. The one which instantly is brought to mind is falling in love, a state compared to mild intoxication, when sound judgement is said to be turned off or at best impaired. But symptoms of falling in love and impact on a daily life or an infatuated person changes with time. A teenager in love behaves different than a human in their mid-thirties. And I put it down to benefit of learning from mistakes made by many people.

Expect a break from blogging the next weekend. I am heading west for a short, or maybe longer road trip. This will be not just a sightseeing trip, but also an opportunity to be on my own (oddly enough, this is now something I am longing for) and to think things over, to return happier, but wiser.

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