There are many schools of thought on Life Lessons.
The idea exists that we are hear to learn a specific set of lessons throughout our lifetime, lessons that we chose between lifetimes. We choose the circumstances into which we’re born to create an arena, an environment, a set of opportunities for us to learn certain lessons.
There is a thought that we go through life and learn many lessons along the way, though not preordained such as in the previous idea. We come upon a set of circumstances through which we are presented with opportunities to learn about life and living. Challenges, obstacles, trials and tribulations, struggles, all can be seen as lessons.
Some people believe that our corporeal existence is a “school” of sorts. We are here on this earth in physical form as a sort of spiritual or metaphysical classroom.
I can see the merit in each of these ideas. Each of these perspectives gives meaning to life, that there is a reason we are faced with adversity and push through a myriad of challenges in between the sweet moments. It gives us a sense of purpose to believe that our lives are more than the result of a cosmic game of Yahtzee where at times one of the dice rolls under the 600 pound china cabinet.
However, here’s where I have trouble with the notion of lessons. Lessons are associated with a class, with school. Lessons are taught to us, then we are graded on how well we learned the lesson. We pass or we fail. The implication here is that if we do not learn a lesson in life, we fail. I suppose this is such a sensitive area for me because I was the type of student that excelled in subjects I had a passion for but bombed in subjects that held no interest for me. Nonetheless, I was still expected to pass these subjects, to learn these lessons in school, whether or not I cared for the subject matter. So for the portions of my life that contain implied lessons by these ideas that I would not care to experience, such as the passing of a loved one or an illness, I’m not sure I can stomach the idea of retaking the class until I pass.
The aforementioned scenarios are ones I will experience in a high likelihood. This is my preferred perspective, that these are not lessons, but experiences. These are events that transpired in my life. As it is my life, I have opportunities to learn from them and I will learn whatever I choose to learn. I could learn to become embittered or I could learn to go with the flow. Granted, one of those options seems “better” than the other, but these are value judgments based on some recipe of ethics and morality whose ingredients may include religious bias, social morays, and self esteem. At the end of the day, they all boil down to experiences. One is not more valuable than another, one does not warrant a passing grade more than another. They are experiences. And the beautiful thing about any experience is that we invariably learn from each and every one of them. What we learn is up to us, and whatever that is is perfectly valid, as we are our own architects for our own individual life experiences.
So at this point, if our planet is a school and life is comprised of a series of lessons, I will choose to audit all my classes.