Learning by Experiences

A Greek philosopher, Plato, wrote the Myth of the Cave. In the myth, there are prisoners that are tied up in a cave so that all they can do is stare at the wall of the cave. The prisoners do not know that behind them there is a fire.In front of the fire, people and animals walk in front of it, but the only thing prisoners see are shadows.

One day a prisoner is released and goes outside for the first time. He finally sees the people and animals that were making the shadows. Overjoyed, he goes back to the cave to tell the other prisoners what he saw, but they don’t believe him.

This myth shows how sometimes when we discover something and we want to share our knowledge with others, people don’t understand or believe you. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t share your ideas and thoughts.

Sometimes for people to understand what you are telling them, they need to have those experiences themselves, just like the one prisoner. He would have never known about the world outside if he never saw it himself. Children learn from experience. You can’t teach a little kid to ride a bike just by telling them how to do it. They have to try it out for themselves.DSC_0469

That goes for anything else. Anytime you want to learn how to do something, you need to do it yourself so you can fully understand how to do it. In my dance classes when we learn a new dance or combination, we practice the steps over and over and over again. The constant repetition of movement creates a muscle memory so eventually you don’t even have to think about it; your body just knows what to do.

Everyone knows the saying “practice makes perfect”, but I believe that we don’t think about it and really understand how true it is. If you regularly practice anything, you will get better at it. Whether it’s cooking or sewing, playing volleyball or soccer, practice truly does make perfect.



Getting through Grief

“The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.”

-Oedipus Rex

What is grief? Most people would say it’s another word for sadness. Well then, what is sadness? The dictionary defines grief as “mental suffering” or in other words emotional pain.

Many different things can cause us grief: failed tests, breakups with boyfriends or girlfriends, disappointed parents or teachers or peers, the list goes on. In my english class while reading Oedipus Rex, a line stood out to me: “The greatest griefs are those we cause ourselves.” I first read this thinking, well this can’t be true. When I had been in grief, it wasn’t my fault. When my friend’s boyfriend broke up with her, it wasn’t her fault. Or when my great-grandma passed away, how could I have done that myself?

The sad truth is that what Sophocles was saying is true. After thinking about it, I finally realized what he meant. It was technically my friend’s fault for her grief when her boyfriend broke up with her. They broke-up because they were not a good enough match; she picked the wrong boy. Obviously, she couldn’t have known that in the beginning, but she also knew that their relationship was not going to last forever.

Although being in grief is horrible, the pain eventually fades. Sometimes time takes care of it but other times we have extra help. For me, just being and talking with my friends or family helps me forget what I was sad about. Listening to good music, or doing something you like to do, such as dancing in my case.

"For me, just being and talking with my friends or family helps me forget what I was sad about."

“For me, just being and talking with my friends or family helps me forget what I was sad about.”

You should also know that you are never alone. There is always someone else who may be in just as much grief as you. My mom always says when we are having a hard time, “There is someone out there who has it worse than us.” For some reason that thought comforts me. It helps me be grateful for what I have and knowing that it could be so much worse. Looking at the little, everyday things helps me realize that I have so much good in my life and that can really lighten my load.

So going to back to what Sophocles said, we decide how our life is going to go. Everything we think, say and do determines what happens to us. Every choice we make affects our life one way or another, so choose wisely.