The early bird catches the worm; a stitch in time saves nine. He who hesitates is lost. We can’t pretend we haven’t been told. We’ve all heard the proverbs, heard the philosophers, heard our grandparents warning us about wasted time, heard the damn poets urging us to ‘seize the day’. Still sometimes we have to see for ourselves. We have to make our own mistakes. We have to learn our own lessons. We have to sweep today’s possibility under tomorrow’s rug until we can’t anymore, until we finally understand for ourselves like Benjamin Franklin meant. That knowing is better than wondering, that waking is better than sleeping. And that even the biggest failure, even the worst most intractable mistake beats the hell out of never trying.
This quote has so much too it. I am someone who loves quotes, as I have said before and I’d like to respond to this quote as best I can.
First, I think it’s very true that you have to make your own mistakes. You have to be able to see things for yourself. There are some things that no one can tell you – that you can only learn through experience. Take, for example, drinking. No one can tell you how horrible it is to drink so much that you get sick and horribly hungover…it’s something that you need to experience.
I think it’s true that knowing is better than wondering. But I know that it’s true that it tooks a lot of courage to figure some things out. It takes a lot to put yourself out there. I haven’t been ready yet to put myself out there with a guy and figure out if I can really fall for him – and that is something that I need to (and am going to) work on. Until then, I will wonder about what could have happened with some of the guys I have known and had crushes on. Until then, I won’t know what could have happened. But when I do know, I won’t wonder about what might have happened with those other guys.
As for waking being better than sleeping. I find that false…in a way. I believe that you need to be awake for the things that are important and you need to be present for the things that really matter. However, I also believe that you can’t do that without sleep. And some people require more sleep than others. Personally, I like to be able to put all of myself into what I am doing, which means that I need to sleep. For me that is what it means to be awake rather than sleeping. It does not literally mean being awake and sleeping, but being present instead of absent from activities.
And the part about trying, I couldn’t agree more with. If you don’t try something you will regret it more than anything in the world. It’s like wondering only worse. My favorite example right now in my life is about how I came to love hockey. I had been to a few hockey games and seen a few hockey games, but I promised myself that if I went to school at Niagara, I would give hockey a real chance. I fell in love with the sport (not to mention the gorgeous guys that play the sport) and really enjoy it now. I realize this particular example is kind of shallow, but for me it was about giving something a chance (even if it was only as a spectator) and seeing what happened. And that something was good.
So, make your own mistakes. Try new things. Fail at something so spectacularly that you know you’ll never do it again. Most of all, live. Be awake and present for everything. You’ll want to remember it later.
Are you the type of person that follows the advice of the quote above? Or do you just sail through life without doing any risk-taking or failing?