touching the stove

I’m starting to realize that life’s a learning process.

We are all living our lives, trying to make sense of everything, hopefully trying to be the best version of ourselves that we can be, hopefully trying to better ourselves every day.

We don’t ever stop trying to improve or learn or grow. And it’s like we are learning these lessons, these great life lessons, as we go along this journey.

It seems – and I hate to say it because I know it’s really not, but – such a waste. Why can’t we just already know these things? Or can’t someone else tell us ahead of time to give us a leg up, a head start, to spare us from the heartache of all the screwing up we are bound to do? Why can’t others teach us all the wisdom and knowledge they have learned over the years so we can take that and then move forward with it, therefore having the ability to be even greater than we could ever be?

It’s like we are living in this constant loop, of generations… of history repeating itself. We are born, we live our lives learning lessons along the way, and then the next generation has to do the same thing.

Of course there are history books to teach us certain lessons, there are adults and influential (hopefully in a positive way) people and mentors who can teach us what they know and give us guidance along the way and advice…

But ultimately, we all have to learn for ourselves.

When you were little and your mom told you, “Don’t touch the stove. It’s hot. You will burn yourself.” What did you immediately go and do?

You touched the stove. 


my sweet nephew, not quite touching the stove, but close enough!

You wanted to feel it for yourself. You wanted to know what she meant. You had to experience it so that you would know it was real, that she wasn’t lying, you would see that she was trying to protect you… But ultimately you had to feel that pain for yourself so that you (hopefully) would know better next time, learn your lesson, and never touch the stove again.

Ultimately, we all have to “touch the stove” ourselves. No one can do it for us. And unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, we can’t take what others have learned over lifetimes, or what we have recorded in history books over generations, and start our lives from there.

We all have to start from the beginning. As infants with an endless amount of experiences to be had and knowledge to be learned. That’s life. I will never understand it completely. I’m not sure any of us will. If you’ve figured it out, please, by all means, let me know.

But what I do know is while we do have to learn and experience the majority of things ourselves, we can choose whether or not we handle these situations gracefully, we can choose whether or not to take the advice of our trusted mentors, and at the very least we can choose whether or not we touch the stove a second time.

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