There are no mistakes. The events we bring upon ourselves, no matter how unpleasant, are necessary in order to learn what we need to learn; whatever steps we take, they’re necessary to reach the places we’ve chosen to go.
– Richard Bach
No mistakes? Does that mean there are no failures? No rough patches, divorces or threats against our personal security?
Bach does make the point that he refers to “events we bring upon ourselves,” so he accepts that some events in our lives we have no control over. We learn from the results and consequences of our choices.
We are each a work in progress, unfinished, blemished with warts and dents from past encounters with life.
We decide when the work is finished. We complete the construction of ourselves when we stop trying to build more and choose to enjoy the plateau we have reached. But it’s not that simple.
Nothing in nature is complete, Nothing is finished in its final form. A plateau was once the bottom of an ancient sea and may become part of a future mountain as the tectonic plates that comprise earth’s surface move about and crash into each other.
Nothing about life can be stagnant. No secure place exists where we can just be who we have become over the years. In nature both organic and inorganic stuff grow, change, decay or get renovated.
We do have people who are happy with their lives, satisfied that they have learned everything they want to know and wanting to maintain the status quo so they can enjoy the rest of their earthly existence. Though they may wish it were not so, they are in the process of decay. Eventually they find that “modern life” is too fast for them, that the world of today has passed them by. It’s too late to change for most. You likely know people like that.
However, science has shown us today that we can reactivate our brain, even to the point of growing new neurons. Even those who have begun a mental decay as their bodies get weaker with age can rejuvenate their brains. In the process they can ward off senility and even Alzherimer’s, if recent research can be believed.
Senility has always been the consequence of an underused brain. It’s entirely preventable. Alzheimer’s disease, it seems, may find it much easier to progress in a brain that has very little activity, while having difficulty growing in a very active brain.
Think of a battery left in a flashlight (torch) or camera for a long period of time. If left totally unused, it may not only decay and lose its own life, but destroy the light or camera with the acid it gives off when it splits. But use the flashlight or camera regularly and the battery will retain most of its potential energy and not harm the device at all.
Biological organisms, including us humans, are designed to struggle or die. If we don’t attempt new things, learn new stuff, challenge our courage, we will decay. That applies as much at age 80 as it does at age eight.
We learn and grow as a result of experiencing bad times and failures. Thus they are not really bad or mistakes, but learning experiences. They are growth opportunities.
Our design gives us the chance to become greater mentally as we lose functions physically with age. Only struggling against the odds and against trouble allows us to grow mentally.
As a final thought, consider this. As children we have great potential both physically and mentally. However, we aren’t really that good at either. We mature physically early in life, then slow down, while mental growth can occur right to our final days. We know that our physical bodies decay when we die. Why would our design allow us to create a magnificent intellectual edifice for our whole lives, only to have it also disappear when we die?
Just a thought.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, striving to make the complicated things about life a bit easier to understand.
Learn more at http://billallin.com Especially if you want to keep growing mentally.