I think one of the hardest parts about growing up and learning is that you have to learn things on your own, sometimes the hard way. So much of life relies on our personal wisdom in decision making, but in my experience, wisdom cannot be given. It is simply a phenomenon that happens naturally as we get older. Reading advice online or talking to a friend about how they should handle a certain situation, in the end, is not wisdom. It is simply knowledge. I can impart my experience in a similar situation, but the decisions I had made were based on ultimately different circumstances and past experiences at the time. The wisdom I gained from such a situation can’t really be transmitted to somebody to prevent a situation from happening, or if it can, that person is utilizing knowledge without understanding.
It’s a tricky bridge to cross to be sure. I don’t mean to say that advice and general information is useless and that you should run off to make mistakes because they’re unavoidable. Instead, my point is merely to say that advice can only go so far.
Early on in my high school career, I would describe past me as fully narcissistic. I knew that I thought highly of myself, but it was a personal revelation of mine to find out that not everybody felt that way about themselves, and that I came across as conceited a lot of the time (not a good quality in a young teenager). It would have done nothing for somebody to come up to me and say “You’re such a stuck up know-it-all” (and I’m sure that happened more than once). The way I would have perceived it as an empty insult to put me down, not the factual statement it really was.
When I had fallen for a girl that would never share feelings for me (also during high school), it didn’t matter how many people told me to forget about her and worry about my own happiness first. To me, I took that advice as ignorance to how much I truly cared about her. How could they tell me to stop worrying about this person I’m in love with? It wasn’t until somebody told me that I’ll never be happy if I lose myself over her that I realized I needed to make some changes. But even then, it wasn’t the information that friend had given me that had provoked me to change. I already had that information. It was the way she had given it me that had presented my situation in a different light, and allowing me to look at it a different way gave me new insight.
So, advice can be helpful. But it depends on the person that is seeking it. I can provide information as to how I live my life and my personal philosophies all day (and I’d be happy to, if somebody asked for it), but in the end it won’t mean anything if that person isn’t willing to use that information to learn more about themselves. So if you’re having difficulty in your own life, maybe it’s time to look not at your situation, but at yourself. Shed some new light on your problem. Find new points of view. There’s always an answer, you just have to be willing to ask the question.
One thought on “Life — Personal Growth”
It’s weird when these epiphanies come to us. Things that can really change how you view your entire life and how you do things. They always feel like they come too late, but man, that’s wisdom you *earn* – it’s yours.
Perhaps one day, when I’m old and wrinkled, I can pass my wealth of experience to some young whippersnapper to ignore for years, until they figure it out the hard way.