The best teacher
We are all apt to single out a special someone whom we consider to be our best teacher. Anyhow, the teacher in today’s tale is everybody’s best teacher. It is experience and it is not “best” in the sense that we should always strive to learn from it in preference to anything or even anyone else; but that what it sets out to teach is always learned by actual observation, actual trial, actual feeling or actual presentation.
What thoughtless, headstrong persons overlook however, is the fact that the knowledge is sometimes obtained with consequences that are not always pleasant. There’s no doubt about it.
Experience teaches that fire burns, that walking in rain results in persons getting wet, that going without food and water results in hunger and thirst and that living a promiscuous life results in persons coming to a bad end.
Some of them even bring on sorrow, reproach and stings of conscience, condemnation, pain, lost opportunity, and disappearance of dreams.
Fanny (fictitious name), a girl who chose to learn from no other teacher but experience, learnt her lessons the hard way. As far as she was concerned, her parents were old-fashioned, so she chose to follow her friends and learn from experience.
“After all,” they reasoned, “how can we know what things are like if we don’t try them? The old people have lived their lives, and they must make us live ours. Condoms and drugs were not popular in their day, so they can’t teach us anything about them.”
Naturally, she rebelled against her parents. Like her friends, she reasoned that there was nothing wrong with having affairs with boys so long as they use condoms. She tried out everything – sex, drugs and all!
By the time she reached age 20, she was fully experienced. A visitor to the land fell in love with her but when he learned about her past, he turned off from her. An old relative who inherited a fortune had planned to pay to put her through college; but the reports that he received about her made him change his mind.
To make matters worse, she had contracted AIDS and she was pregnant.
With bitter regrets, she spent her days walking listlessly around moaning bitterly, “Oh! I had the wrong teacher! I had the wrong teacher. Experience has taught me life’s lessons, and I’ve paid dearly for them.”