Lesson Learned… or Not Learned


I heard something a while back that has stuck around in my head.

You know… the kind of weighty thought that hangs around the edges and periodically pokes its head around the corner to let you know its still around.

Although not heavy, the presence of the persistent gentle weight over time demands attention… a closer examination.

So today is the day I take a closer look.

A teenage girl was being interviewed on television about a traumatic and challenging event in her life and how it impacted her.

Before I go further I have to get my embarrassment out of the way.  I neither know the girl’s name nor the details of her ordeal.  The TV was on in the background and I was only catching bits of her story about the tragedy she experienced and the blessings that have been realized as a result.

It was at the end of her interview when she made a statement that captured my attention and caused me pause.  She said…

“Things like I went through are the only times in life where lessons are learned after the test.”


I don’t know about you but I think the statement is quite profound.  It has really made me think.

Our entire school experience is base on studying and then being tested to determine the level of retention.  You noticed I said retention.  Honestly I can’t think of many things in school (other than the basics of reading, writing, and math) that have served me directly in my life.

I learned facts and then try to regurgitate them at test time.

In the spirit of full disclosure I have to admit that I didn’t remember too many facts during test time.  The reason is simple… I didn’t study.

My grades were bad, really bad.  Let’s just say that I was in the half of the class that made the upper half possible.

But I digress; the kind of learning the girl was talking about is real world stuff.  The kind of learning that impacts the trajectory of one’s life.

Most of the challenges in life are not addressed by our academic prowess but the way we view the situation and the way we think.

Unfortunately life can offer some severe blows.  And let’s face it, some bad stuff we bring on ourselves and at other times it is thrust upon us without regard for who we are, how good we are, or how diligent we are about being responsible.

It’s life and life can be hard and seem very unfair.

We can spend a lot of energy bemoaning this reality and fearing the worst.  But that leads to and feeds the traps of fear and victimization.

I don’t pretend to know what you have gone through.  But then again you don’t know what I’ve experienced.  There is little value, if any, in sharing our war stories.

The greater issue is how well do we emerge from the war we experience.  What have we become?  What have we learned?

At these points in our life it doesn’t matter how we did at learning as we prepared for the test in school.

But now the issue is, how good are we at learning after the test has been given.

See you Thursday.

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