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Learning From Others

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.

–Douglas Adams

Why is it that we have such a tendency to rely on our own knowledge? We know the benefits of learning from others. Scripture encourages us to lean on each other; common sense tells us we are better working together. Yet time and time again, we find ourselves in our homes, on our farms, or in our places of work, struggling to figure things out and afraid to ask for help.

It always amazes me to think of the Roman aqueducts. Here were individuals who studied the combination of a variety of elements, learning what would happen to them in various forms of mixtures until they created the most solid form they could find. But after the fall of the Roman Empire, it would be another almost 1400 years before concrete was used again. Somewhere along the way, they lost the ability to build on the knowledge of those before them.

Learning from others is not simply about making life easier. It is also about ensuring knowledge is not lost. Take the time during the next week to do just that. Ask for help from a friend. Study the teachings of experts in a field that interests you. Take the advice that a friend may offer you. However you choose to do it, learn from the experience of others. Do not work to reinvent anything; instead, build your knowledge on top of where others have already explore.


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