The Value of Experience

“There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.”
Will Rogers

I grew up on a farm… And while the particularly painful experience mentioned by Will Rogers was one I was able to avoid (by happy education from the example of someone else!), I know the pain of having to learn certain hard lessons myself.

My comfort is, that even Christ had to learn by experience. He volunteered. Yet in the Garden it was still unexpectedly hard. Not that He was unwilling – just that the reality of experiencing it was so much more agonizing than He could have imagined.

I am now in a position of having a lot of experience with specific things. I’ve set up shopping carts enough to know the common pitfalls. I’ve set up enough websites for enough customers that I have a good idea of what they might do in response to various challenges, and to know that if I leave certain doors open, a good percentage of clients will walk through, not out of an intent to harm, but just because it is easier. So I now close those doors, and I now avoid certain types of cart setups.

Those are things I could only learn by experience. And while I can pass on a good deal of what I have learned, some of it won’t make sense until my students SEE it. They must see the reality to understand the instruction fully. What they envision in their minds prior to the experience won’t be quite like the reality.

Experience teaches us the nuances of working with people in our specific area or culture. It teaches us the particulars of a changing world that is slightly different than the world we were taught about – as will always be the case since life IS change. Experience teaches us not only what to watch out for, but how to be prepared for future potentials.

If you have never built a government website, you may not know that there are particular legal requirements, at all levels, and specific sustainability issues which apply to government sites. I know this because I have learned the hard way. It wasn’t something someone else COULD have taught me, because the specialty that I occupy did not exist when I was learning it. Had I been able to rely on the experience of others while I was learning that, it would have saved me, and someone else, some heartache. Nothing catastrophic, but it would have been better if I had not had to learn the hard way.

Experience is what makes you a true expert. But it won’t make you an expert in everything – only in the things you are experienced with, that you have learned from.

Green apples do give one the runs.

Tongues do stick to mailboxes.

Siblings do become your best friends once you are grown.

Mom and Dad do get smarter as you get older.

Dumping white gas on a fire is not a smart idea.

These are the truths that we learn by experience – or by watching our little brother try to prove everyone wrong. So who are you… the observer, or the little brother?

Grow a Garden!

Gardening doesn't have to be that hard! No matter where you live, no matter how difficult your circumstances, you CAN grow a successful garden.

Life from the Garden: Grow Your Own Food Anywhere Practical and low cost options for container gardening, sprouting, small yards, edible landscaping, winter gardening, shady yards, and help for people who are getting started too late. Plenty of tips to simplify, save on work and expense.