How To Learn Lessons

Friday, 17 April 2009

[Picture of Homer Simpson character saying d'oh]OUGHT we to get rid of someone who has been caught doing wrong, or ought we to given them another chance?

Put another way, how can lessons be learned from experiences if you are taken out of the situation?

[Picture of Daily Telegraph headline]I am thinking just now about the current “expenses scandal” where MPs have been caught red-handed fiddling expenses.

In any area of work, mistakes can be made, and lessons are gleaned from the experience — but only if the person continues in that same job.  Having been caught, this person is very unlikely to repeat the same mistake.  Whereas a fresh new replacement is likely to fall into the same traps.

Experiences are both good and bad, to deny the bad or to concentrate only on the good is imbalanced and patently wrong — yet that is exactly what happens in politics today.

[Picture of Brand Ross Sachs and Baillie]

A recent example of right thinking would be Jonathan Ross OBE.  He was fined and suspended for broadcast comments made regarding Russell Brand having sex with Georgina Baillie, and leaving many messages boasting about this on her grandfather’s telephone answering service while on air.

To his credit, Mr.Ross has returned to his job, and no doubt lessons will have been learned.  It ought to be good form him — character building — and we (the public) should recognise this, and also share in the growth process by learning to forgive and forget.  On the other hand, Mr.Brand resigned from his BBC job, and so will be far less likely to have learned anything from the experience other than the ability to run away from responsibility.

The public bay for consequences, and it seems that most people think the worst consequence is losing the job, when in fact, it is harder to face up to everyone, repent and work hard to regain respect and confidence again.

[Picture of Simon Cowell]We live in a most peculiar world in this respect.  Take for example TV shows such as “The X-Factor” — if you are bad, then the public vote you off — but (for some unfathomable reason), this gives you the chance to repeat your awful performance — the one that everyone hated so much — one more time! Why? It is not as though this was a second chance.

In shows like this, only good experience is successful, one slip-up and it could cost you dearly.  There is no chance to redeem yourself, no growth, no development, no second chances.

[Picture of Jerry Springer's show]This is true in relationships of all kinds — family, work, friends, partners, teams and so on. You cannot turn your back on someone for making a mistake, and you mustn’t bear a grudge either.

Of course, repeat offenders have not learned anything and ought to be removed from the situation as full and final punishment in the (probably vain) hope that some lesson of some kind might filter through.

Discretion is the key — not absolute laws nor hard-and-fast rules.  Forgiving and being forgiven is crucial in maturing and growing as a person.  Learning from bad and good outcomes is vital for survival.

One Response to “How To Learn Lessons”

  1. najit Says:

    The media always says that we live in a world of fake success where no child is allowed to fail at school and no person lesser than anyone else so how come programs like x factor ,big brother and britains got talent? these are harsh and everyone is judged and most fail .

    the lessons from school is that nobody fails but the lessons from programs on tv is that everybody fails except the best .

    maybe they cancel out ??

    seems to me that nobody learns lessons as I have never heard of a runner up coming back and making success

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