No matter how old you may be now, you may have heard about the popular statement ‘experience is the best teacher.’ Parents and teachers have the responsible to reinforce moral and academic values to children. But if a child fails to heed their guidance, the child is then left to learn from his own experiences. But, in reality, do we have to learn everything from experience?
An English proverb says: You will learn more from things that happen to you in real life than you will from hearing or studying things that happen to other people. This may apply when it comes to application of personal skills, interpersonal relationships, and academic intelligence. After all, any personal skills or academic intelligence one possesses can become truly valuable when you apply them correctly over a time period. The experiences acquired during this period makes that one a better professional.
However, is experience the best teacher when it comes to issues about morality and day-to-day living? Regularly we hear about young men and women who have either lost their lives or become insane because of their lifestyle. We probably also know or have heard about young ones whose future plans have been altered because they have suddenly become mothers or fathers. Would you say their experiences has become the best way to learn?
READ MORE: “So When Are You Going To Get Married?”
Experiences That Teach Nothing
I came to know a teenage girl whose life was cut short sadly because she was left to learn life lessons from her experiences. Nnenna (not her real name) was brought to Port Harcourt by her mother’s friend to assist with caring for the woman’s children. Her father died a few years before, leaving her mother with 6 children to care for. That was always going to be difficult for Nnenna’s mother because she was only a petty trader. How could she train these 4 girls and two boys on her own with these meagre source of income?
In view of the situation, Nnenna was allowed to go live with her mother’s friend in Port Harcourt. The woman agreed to train Nnenna up to university level. Nnnenna’s mother had high hopes that her daughter would one day fulfill her dream of becoming a lawyer. But like a broken candle, those dreams soon faded away within a few short years.
While she was still in senior secondary class 1, Nnenna got a boyfriend, just like her classmates. All the while she was staying with her mother’s friend, Nnenna never received any sex education and its dangers. The young girl was just left on her own without any proper parental guidance. That’s what eventually led to tragedy.
Eventually, her relationship with the boy led to pregnancy, and her friend offered to help her “flush” it out. She was given a concoction to remove the pregnancy, but it caused damage. The following morning, Nnenna started bleeding heavily and she was forced to tell her guardian what happened. Before the woman could get Nnenna to hospital, she gave up. Nnenna was just 16 years old!
READ MORE: When Hard Work Is Too Hard
Learning From Other People’s Experience
Did Nnenna live long enough to learn from her experience? Sadly not! You can imagine how distraught her mother and siblings felt when they found out how Nnenna died. All their dreams and aspirations for her has simply gone with the wind. Evidently, her experience would only teach others a few lessons about every day living.
As humans, we possess the great ability of learning, and we always value our own experience. Experiences can take the form of a failure, a success, a struggle, a discovery, a realization and many types of other emotions. People often believe that life is full of experiences, and it’s the experiences that will enrich the quality of one’s life. True, our experiences always provide us a clue on how we should change and how we should behave. However, experience doesn’t necessarily have to be undergone personally, but it can be learnt through others as well.
Nnenna’s story teaches us that without parental guidance and correction, children will fare very badly. If all children were left to learn from their own experience, then none of them will grow responsibly. Kids need to learn every day lessons about life through proper guidance and supervision before they get to face such situations. That is the responsibility of parents and guardians.
“The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”Proverbs 29:15 KJV
Today people may boast that experience is the best teacher, but if that is so then the world is a very dull student. Millions of people have not learned to avoid the mistakes that caused troubles for themselves. People still get imprisoned for repeated criminal acts or get unwanted pregnancies. If they have learned from their past experiences, why do they keep repeating the same mistakes?
It is true that life is full of experiences, and these experiences sometimes help improve the quality of one’s life. Even at that, the best way for children and adults to learn is learn from the mistakes of others so that you would live a successful and healthy life. Never leave yourself to learn from your experiences only when you can do better with the experiences of others.
TRENDING: COVID-19: 138 NYSC members test positive
Do you believe that experience is the best teacher? Have you had experiences that you have learned from? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.