Learning Experiences

Nathaniel - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on December 11, 2008

If I had to choose one personal philosophy I choose to live by it would be this: every experience is a learning experience. Look for the silver lining.

When I was little, I always wanted either a dog, or a brother. They were equal in my mind. I was in the second grade, my parents sat me down, their faces covered in broad smiles, and told me that’d I’d have a baby brother in a few short months. I was elated, bouncing off the walls in my little kid ecstatic style. After only a couple months my mother went in to the hospital with pains. I, being only in second grade, didn’t realize how far off baby Joshua’s nine months were. My baby brother was a still born. I still remember standing in the operating room with his body in my arms, trying to make my mind come to grips with all the memories we’d never have.

It took years to come to grips with the reality; I still cry when I think about it. Yet behind the pain of the situation was a plethora of life lessons. I learned that in life, I can’t always get what I want, life is precious, and what people are going through when losing a family member, whether new or old.

It was at this point in my life when I decided that it was best to use all my experiences, and experiences of those around me to learn and avoid potential pitfalls. Whether not smoking like my granny, or not having premarital sex like others I know, each of their pitfalls is a learning experience for me. I believe that history repeats itself if we don’t learn from it.

When watching those around me I learn that the silver lining can come in the form of unknown fortunes. Over the summer I had the opportunity to attend a forum in which there was a program on self-reflection. People there were brave. I saw the raw materials of trust during an activity where people stood and shared their worst moment. We heard about abuse, suicide, murder and distrust. I never thought people could entrust these things with others, they hardly knew. They made the every day “bad” things appear trivial. Knowing that it can be worse and that you can learn from others mistakes and misfortunes gives me peace of mind.

I learn from the missteps of those around me, my personal faults and successes. I believe in learning experiences, both good, and bad.