Preventative Vs Experiential Lessons

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People learn life lessons in two separate categories: preventative and experiential. The former may be an explanation from someone, a self-enlightening moment, or personally seeing other’s mistakes. The latter is exactly what it sounds like, a life lesson learned in the trenches. The preventative bracket is usually not accompanied by a mistake or consequence. On the other hand, the experiential branch is typically not as forgiving. Though this way of formation may be more burdening, the lesson will usually stick much better. Experiential lessons provide deeper understanding because they are up close and the value of the message is in plain sight. The lesson I learned fell under the experiential umbrella. In elementary school, I was a fun-loving,…show more content…
It was my seventh grade year. At my middle school we had a short break between second and third period called nutrition. During nutrition, my friends and I always sat on the same bench right outside of Mr. Nelson’s room. On this specific day, I was talking to my friend about a test we had just taken. I believed that the test was very simple and my friend countered that she thought the test had been quite difficult. Without thinking and full of superiority, the next thing that came out of my mouth was, “How could you think that?” I did not think twice about my assertion; it was no big deal. The bell rang and I went on with my day. About two weeks later, I was walking through the school on my way home when I saw this same girl. She was sitting by herself. For some reason I remember this day being very dreary, and the look on the girl’s face matched the environment. I thought I would go over to her and see if everything was all right. There were tears in her eyes. I asked, “What’s wrong?” She went on to tell me that her parents were going through a nasty divorce and that she felt worthless. I did not really know what to say but I ended up squeaking out, “It’s going to get better.” The next thing she said altered the way I treat people to this day. Through sobs she muttered, “How is it going to get better when there are people like you?” I was caught off guard, and I did not know what she was talking about. I exclaimed, “What do you mean?” She went on to explain that my past comment questioning her intellectual ability truly hurt her. She was in a vulnerable state at that time and my remark really hit a nerve. She continued to bawl uncontrollably. I thought nothing of my comment when I said it. Now, I felt sick to my stomach. I began apologizing profusely but nothing I said satiated her crying. After many failed attempts to calm her down, I continued on my way home a changed person. I promised

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