Posts tagged ‘experience’



We do what we must, and call it by the best names we can…

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Experience” (1844)



We have become so trusting of technology that we have lost faith in ourselves and our born instincts. There are still parts of life that we do not need to “better” with technology. It’s important to understand that you are smarter than your smartphone. To paraphrase, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your Google. Mistakes are a part of life and often the path to profound new insights—so why try to remove them completely? Getting lost while driving or visiting a new city used to be an adventure and a good story. Now we just follow the GPS. To “know thyself” is hard work. Harder still is to believe that you, with all your flaws, are enough—without checking in, tweeting an update, or sharing a photo as proof of your existence for the approval of your 719 followers. A healthy relationship with your devices is all about taking ownership of your time and making an investment in your life. I’m not calling for any radical, neo-Luddite movement here. Carving out time for yourself is as easy as doing one thing. Walk your dog. Stroll your baby. Go on a date—without your handheld holding your hand.

James Victore, in Manage Your Day-to-Day, ed. Jocelyn K. Glei (2013)


George Washington

He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, not a gifted orator, not an intellectual…But experience had been his great teacher from boyhood, and in this his greatest test, he learned steadily from experience. Above all, Washington never forgot what was at stake and he never gave up.

David McCullough on George Washington, 1776 (2005)


year’s end

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning, but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.

Hal Borland, “The Tomorrows–December 30” in Sundial of the Seaons (1964)



Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn fast.

William Nicholson (screenwriter), “Shadowlands” (stage play) (1985)

This script was later adapted into a screenplay for a movie starring Anthony Hopkins, and the line was then changed slightly. It is often attributed to C.S. Lewis and quoted as:

Experience is a brutal teacher. But you learn. My God, you learn.



Mankind likes to think in terms of extreme opposites. It is given to formulating its beliefs in terms of Either-Ors, between which it recognizes no intermediate possibilities.

John Dewey, Experience and Education (1938)

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