That brings us to the topic of the day “Experience Is the Best Teacher.”
Learning from text books is one thing and teachers do play a vital role in shaping our capabilities. But no amount of learning in classrooms can substitute practical experience. For it is in real life situations that we learn to apply what we were taught; make mistakes in the process and become wise in a true sense. We mature by doing.
Another important thing to note is how we learn to improvise. Whether it be medicine or sports or driving a vehicle what was taught has to be implemented using moment by judgement of people, situations and contexts. This can happen only through experience; and it is here that experience makes a vital difference.
Again, experience helps you to do things effectively with minimal effort. If you tried to gift wrap something you might have experienced some difficulty before you did it. But if you observe people who are assigned to do the gift wrapping in certain shopping malls we find them wrapping gifts quickly and efficiently. There is no labouring, no sense of frustration, but a positive feel of the easiness with which they do it. That is art at its best.
But the best of all is that experience helps you stay calm under pressure. When you face dangers, or when you are facing defeat during a game, or when you are racing against time in meeting a deadline; in all these and many more situations experienced people stay calm under pressure. That helps them to think with clarity. And it can drive the opposition to commit errors and leave you the winner.
So how do you gain experience? You gain that by doing things. If that is backed by knowledge and you are blessed with a teacher then the experience you gain will be worth its weight in gold.
You should therefore be alert to grab every opportunity to get invaluable experience in life. Variety is the key. You don’t drive a car only forward. Experience comes as you learn to do parallel parking, drive the car in very narrow roads, learn to start a vehicle when it stops as it climbs a steep uphill curve, and you learn to stay calm in a real nerve-racking wait in a crawling traffic jam.
Even though it is pointed out that “Experience is a comb life gives you after you lose your hair,”* there is something about the experienced man or woman that commands trust and respect. To sum it all up, let me quote a Faroese proverb which says, “Old ravens are not easy to fool.”
And I end on that note; that wisdom that comes with experience makes experience the best teacher. Thank you.
*Judith Stern –American writer (1942).