Life has numerous lessons to teach every one of us. Some of these lessons we learn through formal education, while some we learn through informal education. Some lessons are learnt through observation and causal questions, while others are learnt through life experiences. However, learning in life is not only vital to our happiness, but also to our survival. The lessons of life bring about wisdom, and wisdom brings about security, fulfilment, and power.
Since we can learn about life in different ways, it should be appropriate to say that there are numerous sources of wisdom. Some sources of wisdom, while incomparably impressive, can also be exceedingly dangerous. One of such sources is life experience. One risk of learning from life experiences is that you may not come out of it as a complete being. In other words, you may be terribly scarred for life. Some life experiences, while very illuminating, put you in a state of irreparable damage (some are even fatal/deadly). For example, taking hard drugs (cocaine) may result in an addiction that may be difficult to overcome for a lifetime. And killing somebody, even if by accident, can haunt you for the rest of your life. There is no doubt that life experiences impresses upon us the most, yet it is also true that they have the greatest risk. In conclusion, life-experience is never the best teacher in life.
Another source of wisdom is formal education. Formal education is the education we receive from perusing the published works of some of the finest academic minds across the world. The school system has been designed to facilitate formal education. To be honest, formal education is a mixture of relevant facts, assumptions, experts’ subjective perspectives, and some faulty theories which do not really apply in the real world. While many things we learn in school are indeed very useful, they are not without their flaws. Formal education is very useful, but not the best way to understand life. It is less effective than life-experience, and far less risky. And since no system is perfect, it is a valuable source of wisdom, not just the best teacher in life.
Indoctrination is yet another source of wisdom. Indoctrination can be really effective if the right views are passed on to other people, but can also be very disastrous if the wrong views are impressed on others. It is absurd to follow the teachings and instructions of an indoctrinator without personally questioning those views and teachings. It is ludicrous to live by a set of perspectives without verifying their veracity and meaning. Indoctrination is a form of mental slavery; it is not educative, but controlling. The killing of twins and albinos in Africa few centuries ago were practices rooted in indoctrinations. Enlightenment put an end to this. You must therefore seek enlightenment to gain access to wisdom.
The last, but not the least, source of wisdom is ‘learning from other people’s experiences’. This has to be the greatest source of wisdom. Since personal experiences can live scars and cause irreparable damage, learning from the wonderful, as well as the terrible, experiences of other people is also like going through these experiences mentally, without the terrible scars that are associated with having a first-hand experience of them. Learning from other people’s experiences, as they share these experiences, will save you a lot of fatal life mistakes, and preserve you from the disaster that comes from journeying through life heedlessly.