Life Lessons Come from… Life

One of my twitter friends posted this question yesterday:

Did you learn how to love somebody,how to be famous, how to be rich, how to walk away from someone you don’t love any longer, how to know what’s going on in someone else’s mind, what to say to someone who’s dying… in school? I didn’t! Your thoughts?

And it sent me into a memory vortex as I sat on the couch, sipping non-caffeinated green tea, as a thunderstorm raged in the night sky.

I love pondering in the rain…

Of course those “life skills” weren’t part of the curriculum – I didn’t even learn budgeting or useful stuff like that in school, but BY GOLLY I can tell you the Pythagorean Theorem… those interpersonal skills aren’t something to teach so much as they’re learned.

I learned about making a budget, input/output from my Mimi as she kept the family checkbook and we drove to the bank together (I think it was usually on Tuesdays). And my Nanny kept the family business’s book, teaching herself – a gal who predated cars – acccounting & bookkeeping, and used her natural conscientiousness to maintain meticulous records. Life skills are part of… well, Life.

I DID learn, at school, how to interact with others, to see my friends and classmates as sources of information and opportunities to expand my understanding of life. That’s always been a natural tendency of mine: to seek to understand people.

I studied so many human-focused topics in college, rounding out my Bachelor’s, JD, and Master’s with an inordinate amount of Psychology, Sociology, and Philosophy classes — always trying to intellectualization my personal experiences of being a total Other… a biracial girl In a conservative community in Texas (whose #1 pal was her dairy-raised Papaw), aware of my fluid sexual attraction, loud & athletic – a total hoyden – yet pretty and academic, and never completely sure of where and how I “fit in”… I wanted – NEEDED – to understand what caused peoples’ reactions to all my characteristics. Feedback isn’t something to shy away from.

And within the question lies the answer… time and again, no matter how much education or statistics or technology or contrived terms you throw at it, Human Capital will always have value in and of itself. A person’s innerworkings are entirely theirs, the springs of our minds are potentially-endless and abundant sources of ideas and innovation, feelings, observations of the world… if you think about how we’re moving through time and space, you can entertain the notion that every moment, second, nanosecond is completely new & unique as are the perspectives of everyone in them.

We are never in the same and space twice. We are never exactly the same as we have been. Life is never the same as it was. And we can’t go back to who we were, but we can take the good ideas, the lessons, the things that work with us as we move forward. And where do we get more of those useful tips?

From each other, our fellow participants in this life.