“Experience is the best teacher,” people say. I beg to differ.
A lot of people have gone before me in this race called life. Yup, “papunta pa lang ako, pabalik na sila.” There’s always so much we can learn from the counsel of people who have gone ahead of us in the different seasons of life, and it’s not necessarily by age.
I personally believe that the experience of others is the best teacher. But even when I’ve been saying this as far back as high school, I find myself hard-headed at times and take the path with “caution” and “dead end” sign posts. Why didn’t I take others’ word for it?
“Mine is a different situation. So if I do what you did, my story will end up differently.”
“I’ll do it. If I fail, I fail.”
“This is my life. I make my own choices. I’ll face the consequences.”
“Let me learn what you learned on my own. Let me experience it myself.”
If I had the Flash’s power to go back in time (sorry, just watched Season 2 finale…), I will tell my younger self that those are stupid thoughts.? Experience is an effective teacher because people learn for themselves and they’re least likely to forget. But the experience of others is an even better teacher for me because I don’t have to go through the consequences of their mistakes before I learn to avoid those mistakes. I can take a look at their lives now and instead of mistakes teaching me, I get encouraged that #lifegoals are attainable. I can pursue the path that leads to success because others have pursued the alternate path and they’ve seen that it’s a dead end.
Consider, for example, your route home. If your neighbor tells you that you shouldn’t pass by a certain road because it’s bumper-to-bumper or it’s flooded, obviously you won’t even try that road, will you? If it were me, I’d choose another route so that I can go to where I want to go faster and in a single piece! Wise counsel can save us time from figuring out for ourselves which route to take. Wise counsel can bring us to the next step towards where we really want to go.
Take note though that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), so we must also be wise with who we seek counsel from. Be cautious with counsel that is based solely on experience, especially when God’s Word has a clear take on the matter. Wise counsel will always be aligned with, if not point you back to scripture.
Do you have people in your life who give you wise counsel? Appreciate them by posting a thank you message in social media (tag them of course), or by writing about them in your blog. Ummm, if they’re that ahead, send them a snail mail? ? Just kidding. I find that hand-written notes are always greatly appreciated by anyone.
If you feel like you’re at crossroads and are in need of a “neighbor” who can help guide you with what can be dead ends or not, contact me and let’s see if I can connect you to somebody.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
but a wise man listens to advice.
Proverbs 12:15 ESV
I am the author of the book, When God Could’ve But He Didn’t. I am the happy wife of my happy husband, Pao. As I write this, both of us are happily hoping for at least two more children.