We’ve been told: Experience is the best teacher. I disagree. Experience provides the opportunity to learn. We may learn by reflecting on our experience—learning from it, not by it, an important distinction.
We’ve been told: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. I also disagree with this. I think it’s the definition of stupidityand the antithesis of learning: choosing not to learn. Whether I’m arrogant, angry, or I just don’t care, refusing to learn seems stupid to me. Reflecting on my experience allows me to learn. It’s not guaranteed, but it makes learning possible.
We’ve also been told: When the student is ready the teacher appears. I agree. When we decide to learn, we do. When we decide not to learn, we don’t. We’re ready or we’re not, we’re in or we’re out. Reflecting on our experience can teach; experience with no reflection cannot. Deciding not to learn is not insane—it’s just plain stupid! So, does experience teach? Maybe!