Thursday, April 04, 2013
Experience in life
I feel that very often in our everyday life we confuse things like knowledge, skill, incident etc. with the word experience. For me experience is way beyond these nouns. No particular incident or encounter or familiarity can truly capture the essence of this word. It is more than just the total of its parts. All that we have in life, once pushed to the past tense becomes experience for us. Experiencing experience in the present tense is difficult but not impossible. To add to the twist we have relevant and irrelevant experiences. Even after all these years I have failed to understand the relevance of irrelevant experience. I went, I saw and I experienced. I did not go, I did not see and I did not experience. Will the second scenario construe to be irrelevant experience?
Over the years in all that I have read or seen or heard or felt or tasted, one fact is crystal clear - all the experiences are relevant. We are much more ‘relevant’ than the sum total of all our experiences taken together. Experiences are never good or bad. It’s the result that can be slotted into the different categories. We are what we are because of what we have experienced so far. The result of the experiences shapes us. The product that is me today is a consequence of all my deeds; thoughts; actions etc. The person I am today is the conclusion of everything that has happened or not happened in my life till now. If I am relevant then how can my experiences be irrelevant?
Having relevant experience supposedly equips us to take decisions or be proclaimed as being a person with rich experience. I believe that any experience to be termed rich must have a far reaching influence and cannot be bereft of feelings or emotions. Being experienced or being responsible is not just about making decisions. It’s about sticking to the decisions you have made.
I would only call a person experienced if s/he has the guts to stick or live through the decisions one has taken. Acceptance is true experience. You can only do so when you know deep down that no decision is bad or wrong decision. The consequences may be good or bad or as per our instinct on which we based the decision or otherwise. This consequence should never stop us from taking decisions. The end should never influence the means. Decisions can never be dependent on anxiety or the possibility of what might happen or not happen. They have to be taken, so take it.
When we stop taking decisions, we stop thinking. Running away from being decisive is also a decision. Not taking decisions will stop one from growing and eventually turning out to be the person one could have been. If we respect our decisions, so will others. This thought reminds me of a prayer from an old hindi classic – "हम को मन की शक्ति देना मन विजय करें।। दूसरों की जय से पहले ख़ुद को जय करें।।"
(Hum ko mann ki shakti dena, mann vijay karein. Doosron ki jai se pehle khud ko jai karein)
Every cloud has a silver lining. So why hesitate? Gather inputs from all but take your own decisions. Gut feeling is a decision too.
Decide about this.