In handwriting analysis, there is a certain trait that shows that the person doesn't learn from past experience. Frankly, I wonder if all of us have this trait. I really don't know too many people who actually do learn from past experience. Well, I'm sure if you put your hand in a fire, you won't do that again. But what if the pain isn't quite as excruciating? What if you just got a blister from wearing a certain pair of shoes, but then after a couple of months you forget that you got a blister last time? I think for most of us, where this really comes in to play is with life experiences.
Let me give you a personal example of a time when I didn't learn from past experience. A couple of years ago, when I first started my religion blog, I started talking to an anti-mormon. My reason for spending so much time talking to him was that I felt I needed to defend the church. I also wanted to dispel some of the misconceptions he had. I have to admit that I even got to the point of Bible bashing with him. It ended up with him continuing to hurl false accusations and continuing to tell me I was going to hell for my beliefs. I finally cut off communication with him. There are just some people you can't reason with. And most of those people don't listen. But recently I had the same type of person come back to my blog, and I still got sucked in. Part of me thinks I need to defend my religion, and part of me hopes that I can reason with them. I ended up realizing that just like the first time, this guy couldn't listen to reason, and continued to hurl attacks. I finally decided, once again, to stop the discussion.
But this post isn't really about that situation, I just used that as an example. I think the way some of us see ourselves not learning from past experience is with our interpersonal relationships. We have a relationship with a person, and it ends up being bad. So we finally "wake up" and decide to cut off the relationship. But then time passes, and maybe like the blister we forget the discomfort we experienced. Maybe we just hope that we can "reason" with the person and things will be better "this time".
Another way we don't learn from experience is when it comes to living like we should. This is probably the biggest way. Maybe we have a weakness for reading the scriptures, or going to church. At some point we finally decide that we are going to do better, and we do....for awhile. But then we forget the consequences of not doing that thing and we slack off again. This pattern could go on for years.
I guess I sometimes wonder if I, in particular, am ever really good at repenting, and changing. Why is it so difficult for us to make permanent change? Why don't we learn from past experience?