Friday, March 4, 2011

Blog #36: The Hard Way

I have a new obsession, and that is this song by Andrew Peterson. Holy mackerel. Love. It wins on so many levels. Okay, and speaking of "winning" I would just like to point out that I was ALL about winning before Charlie Sheen made it a catch phrase. Just goes to show you, it doesn't matter how much you say something - if Charlie Sheen says it later it becomes his legacy. We can't all be warlocks with tiger blood. I was thinking the other day about learning things the hard way and how that always seems to be something people want to avoid. Yesterday. I was thinking about this yesterday not the other day. Anyway, it occurred to me that maybe we all need to be a little less self protective when it comes to learning things the hard way. The lessons I remember the most and that have shaped my world view and paradigm of life are those that I learned the hard way. Sometimes I think you don't really learn something until you've learned it the hard way. Research design science calls that empiricism. (I had to throw that in there because I'm proud of myself for reading the first chapter of my textbook last night even though we've been in class for six weeks and have a test over the first five chapters on Monday). Anyhow, the basic tenet of empiricism is that you can't actually know something unless you experience it. Now, I believe there are a lot of things that you can know without having necessarily experienced them. That's how we have things like faith and instinct. However, when it comes to actually learning something - there has to be some sort of experience involved. For instance, just being told "don't pick up your straightening iron from the hot end" might be enough to learn not to do that, but after I actually picked up my straightening iron from the top end scalding my fingers and causing me to leave the following church service twice to run cold water over them to ease the pain, I really learned it. Here's another one. I can read in a professional etiquette class that you need to check, double check, and triple check the name in the "send to" box of emails but until I actually slipped up and sent a joke meant for my boss to a vendor I didn't really know it. Thankfully I didn't lose my job, but I was so mortified that I still physically cringe when I think about it. It's actually a hilarious story now but I can't share it on here because it doesn't sound as funny written. The way I view relationships and potential relationships would not be what it is now if I hadn't learned the hard way not to count my chickens before their hatched. Now, I don't have or want any actual chickens, but you get my point. It's a metaphoric way of saying "don't count on things working out a certain way when they haven't yet."That's something I think I'm in the process of learning the hard way. It's kind of a lot like learning not to pick up a hot straightener. Now some things you really shouldn't learn the hard way - like "don't shake a baby" or "don't use your hair dryer in the bath tub." Don't be afraid, though, to take risks and screw up and get hurt. Pain is an inevitable part of life and we have the opportunity to learn and improve from it.

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