Life is a great teacher as we never really ever stop learning from our experiences in life. There is a quote that goes: “A wise man learns from the mistakes of others, a fool learns from his own mistakes” I had heard a paraphrased version of this same quote and so I went looking for it online as I actually thought that it went like this: “A wise man learns from his own mistakes, but an even wiser man learns from the mistakes of others” For the longest time this is how I would quote this and I would add that the world is full of simply “wise people” and not so many “wiser ones”, as we tend to have to learn things through our own experience.
I would agree that if we are really smart, we will the word of those who have had certain experiences and learn to avoid the same mistakes through their testimony. But unfortunately it just doesn’t seem to go this way most of the time. Our child-like curiosity can get the best of us and we will just have to see for ourselves if it will work out or not (whatever it may be). This why it is said that experience is the best teacher, in fact, if you run into a brick wall you usually try to go a different way the next time around. ( Notice that I said usually.)
While growing up it seems to be innate to not take people’s word for things and to have a buying desire to prove other’s wrong, especially if they assert authority over us. But then, as time goes on, you start to figure that it might have been a lot better if you had paid attention to the teacher who had “been there and done that” in order to save yourself a lot of time and sometimes grief. There can tend to linger on a certain pride that battles with having to give in and finally say “uncle” and accept that someone else just might know what they are saying. Weird, but we more often than not want to be right, sometimes even when we are wrong.
I believe that wisdom shines its light on us when we finally realize that we are not actually the “all-in-all” and that we need to pay attention to others on certain topics. It is wonderful that we can have such a vast array of talent and intelligence around us from whom to draw. We just need to use this and allow wisdom to “kick in”.