Life’s most valuable lessons, for me at least, were always learned the hard way. I’m not sure why it always took so much to finally sink in. Maybe I was just young and dumb, hard headed or just plain stupid. Whatever the reason it usually took me a couple of times of screwing up major, for life’s lessons for it to really sink in. In the process I created monumental messes, that seemed to never go away, except when it seemed I’d finally learned what life was trying to teach me. I rarely have those A-HA moments in life where I would figure things out all of a sudden either. It was more of a gradual soaking in of truth. The feeling of utter dispair and panic I’d get in the pit of my stomach, followed by a promise to make things right and a vow to not repeat my ignorance.
Now that I’m a little older and a little wiser (emphasis on little for both) I see now that the really valuable lessons needed to be learned the hard way, otherwise they just don’t stick with me. Some people get by with just watching “bad things” happen to others and seem to learn from them. Does the “more intelligent population” really learn the lesson or just avoid the inflammatory action, destined to repeat the same mistake at a later time?
I’m convinced that the impression made on a persons brain from learning the hard way lingers so much longer, and sticks much harder. Maybe it’s the brain’s distaste for pain, especially self inflicted, that really drives it home. So everytime I hear the phrase “Check yourself before you wreck yourself” I chuckle a little bit, because I know they have it backwards.