Learning a lesson that isn’t about fairness

October 18, 2014

I was reading a piece in the NYTimes about how human beings see “purpose” in what happens in their lives.  It even mentioned looking for lessons, but, having pointed out this can turn into a moralistic pitfall about just deserts and assumptions about fairness, it stays with that version of “What’s the lesson?” and doesn’t explore what other sorts of lessons there might be.

It could have considered other sorts of lessons.  One can ask, “How can I handle that better next time?  What did I learn about myself?  What did I learn about other people?  What did I learn about how we interact?  What did I learn about what I fear and what my coping strategies are and whether they accomplish what I want to accomplish at this stage of my life?”

If we’ve misunderstand in the West how to find the lesson and what kinds of lessons we should be looking for, abandoning the search for lessons because we’ve gone down a dead end doesn’t seem to me to be the answer.


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