“Experience is the teacher of all things.”
One of the greatest ways that we learn about ourselves, others and life in general is through our experiences. The Roman statesman and general known for playing a critical role for not only the demise of the Roman Republic but also the rise of the Roman Empire knew this all too well in both triumph and tragedy. You can learn about things through reading books or watching videos on YouTube on how to fix something but going through the process and actually experiencing it is the teacher of all things.
The area of social awareness like the other areas of Social Emotional Learning are only developed and continue to evolve based on our experiences. We learn about perspective taking through our interactions with others who are from diverse backgrounds and cultures. This also occurs from our engagement in active listening and exhibiting empathy while looking at things through the other person’s perspectives. The learning that takes place is two fold. For one thing you are learning more about the person, their back story and habits and on the other side you are learning more about yourself. Often times we are aware of the first part but not the second. The next time you experience this, reflect on the latter and see how that conversation impacted you and what things you learned about yourself. I just started doing this more and it is quite insightful.
Have there been certain things you grew up believing in and through various experiences your beliefs have changed? I know this has happened to me. If we do not venture out into the world and are afraid to engage in new experiences we are robbing ourselves of growing as an individual and if it involves others we are also robbing them of their opportunities to grow as well.
We all have experiences that are our own stories to tell and in essence we can all be teachers to one another. This does not mean we need to share them all but only those that we are most comfortable in sharing. If we are able to at least afford others the opportunity to better understand the social and ethical norms of what makes each of the unique and diverse groups of individuals that we are I believe the better our respect for one another will increase thus strengthening our social awareness.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards becoming more socially aware?