Oceans For Emotions: You can learn from others' experiences, too

By Elaine Wheat
March 8, 2013 at midnight
Updated March 7, 2013 at 9:08 p.m.

Elaine Wheat

Elaine Wheat

Lo, I have given thee a wise and understanding heart.

- 1 Kings 3: 12

Recently, I wrote about how experiences become memories, and the equation of experience equals memories has been rolling around in my head like the waves that roll on to the beach.

I realized that this might be taken wrong when I explained it to my family. My 15-year-old great niece, Abby Elaine, turned to her mom and said, "Aunt Laine thinks I need more experiences, so I should get to do what I want so I can have memories."

I had to mention to her that you can learn from other people's experiences, good and bad. The whole family laughed at the little power struggle.

The only way that I could explain the experience-memory formula was with this following fishing tale.

Abby, you must know that I love catching flounder on a rod and reel because I wear a gold one around my neck. But the only problem is that a flounder and a stingray bite almost exactly alike. I can't explain the difference. Someone has to catch enough flounder and enough stingrays to memorize how each of them feel to know the difference.

Netting a stingray is no fun, but netting a flounder is fine. But if you don't memorize the experience, then you never know which one is good and which one is bad.

Dear Lord, at this Lenten time, help us all have the experience of preparing our hearts with the sacrifice your son made on the cross. Let us think also of the risen Lord and let this experience enrich our memories every day of our lives.



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