By Jim Selman | BioThe older I am, the more I reflect on the aphorisms all around us and wonder why it is so difficult to accept and live with this obvious wisdom. Robert Fulghum memorialized many of them in his bestseller All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. All of these little ‘nuggets’ of wisdom we’ve accumulated over the years are generally, well, wise. It is befuddling why so few people take them to heart.
Why do so many spend a lifetime learning these kinds of lessons the hard way? Actually, why is it that any of us continue to act badly, do things we know won’t work, or become engaged in behaviors that, in any of a hundred different ways, are harmful to ourselves and others?
Theologians, psychologists, teachers, philosophers and parents have been occupied by these questions for a very long time. The larger underlying questions at the heart of this inquiry are:
- “Who am I?”
- “Do I really have a choice about what I do?”
- “Is it really possible to learn from our experience?”
If by ‘experience’