Technology is helpful, experience also matters

As listeners, we were told to make our mistakes - as many times: Don't be afraid to fall or fail

By Purva Grover

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Published: Thu 10 Aug 2017, 10:01 PM

Last updated: Fri 11 Aug 2017, 12:01 AM

Life as we know is made up of three simple elements - yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Lessons from life, too, more or less, can be divided so. A couple of days ago, I attended a talk by an individual who is a few decades older than me. The highlights of the session are fresh in my mind - I took notes, asked a bunch of questions. In short, I enjoyed the time and decided to label it as a learning exercise. Note to self: Make it a habit to attend more such sessions. As my opening lines of the column would suggest, we touched upon the changes over a period of time, which included regrets, accomplishments, learning, confessions, aspirations, et al. As listeners, we were told to make our mistakes - as many times: Don't be afraid to fall or fail. At the same time learn from the experience of those who've been there. The trick is to learn how to strike a balance.

I was happy in my space, until the next day when someone (who was not in the audience) questioned me on what I could possibly have learnt from the 'old is gold' era. After all, my generation is different and progressive. Further, I was told that I have the means that they didn't have and in fact I would be able to teach the seniors a thing or two. Yes and yes, I nodded in agreement to the points made.

As expected, it got me thinking, may be in the wrong direction. I know a lot, but do I know it all? Is there truly nothing that I can learn (or unlearn) from the generation which lived in a different time - say of the floppy disks vs the cloud drives? Is it just about a technology? Or is it about an attitude shift - say of saving income vs spending on travelling? Should it hurt my ego to seek from those, who don't have age by their side?

The self-examination exercise led me to attend another session and this time I was a decade older to the speaker. Interestingly, this speaker, too, had the same advice, when it came to mistakes and experiences. Goes without saying, I scribbled a similar note to self. Did I feel that the future generation will win the world over and I'd be left behind? Did it hurt my ego to be a student? No.

What's my point and learning as I type this? I choose it all.

One, learn from mistakes. Two, learn from experiences of others; including the old and the young. Does it make me feel insecure or incompetent? No. In fact, it prepares me at many fronts. For, whilst there's nothing better in life than an on-the-job training, I feel a ready reckoner from predecessors and successors can come in handy, every now and then.

I don't know what you'll choose in similar situations in life but I can only hope that you remember that a huge amount of knowledge is passed in both directions when the old and young sit together.   

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