Life Lessons

Sometimes life can feel like one big test that we forgot to revise for. There is always something, somewhere to test us it seems. Whether it’s an obnoxious stranger testing our tolerance, a difficult colleague trying our understanding, a tantrum-ing child testing our patience after a long day at work has already whittled it, our own self-doubt testing our belief, or memories of the past testing our forgiveness. And quite often, it seems, we find we just don’t have the answers we need.

However, a test is usually something we cram for and then end up forgetting about. We congratulate ourselves that we got through it and feel thankful that we don’t have to go through it again. But life isn’t always like that. Things often repeat. So instead of seeing these things as tests, I prefer to treat them as lessons and revision sessions.

I don’t know if there’s a big examination hall waiting for us in the sky, or whether some will remain behind for detention in hot, dark basement rooms; perhaps we’ll reach the end and automatically re-enroll for another term, like the Buddhist concept of Saṃsāra, where we’ll keep learning, term after term, until we reach enlightenment.

I treat these daily challenges as lessons, not tests, because I don’t think we ever stop learning. And each time, I hope I can learn something new so I can better understand the next lesson.

Whether there’s a big exam waiting for us or not, I really don’t want to reach the end of my term and discover I didn’t pay enough attention in class.

© 2016 Occasional Dreams
In response to daily prompt: Test


5 Replies to “Life Lessons”

  1. Nice post, and thanks for sharing the advice to take things as lessons. It reminds me of a line from Billy the Kid in the movie Young Guns. His pals wanted to abandon him and take a different way that they thought would be easier, and he replied, “You have to test yourself every day or else you’ll get stale. You wanna go to New Mexico?? OK. I’ll ride to New Mexico. As far as I’m concerned that’s the ultimate test”

    I think that’s a pretty transferable quote because we often think we can run from our tests; then, we just run into a tougher one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. And yes, I think we do need to constantly move and learn. When I was younger I thought I would reach a point where I would take one last test and have all the answers but that test never came. Things became easier when I realised there may not be one at all.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I was hoping I could just finish the “test” of college get a job and just sit back and enjoy life. Now, I realize any path in life requires constant sharpening and learning.

        Liked by 1 person

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