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If I Only Knew Then . . .

I love analogies. They are silly and fun, and oh so profound. They are the material that I swore I would never use, but eventually I stop and smile when I hear my parent’s voice coming out of my own mouth. I now bristle at the same eye roll I receive that I myself once gave my parents when on the receiving end of such wisdom.

That age old saying; if I only knew then what I know now, can make me take pause and think. If I knew then what I know now, would I be who I am today? Or is who I am today because I didn’t know what I know now . . . then? The whole thing sounds a bit silly, but really, Who’s on First?

Wisdom is acquired. Wisdom is personal. Wisdom is learned. If only I knew then what I know now, would I have been able to look at the world through innocent adolescent eyes, or would I have worn cynical lenses? If camouflaged then by such wisdom would I be able to see at all now, or would I be blind to buoyant irrational isms?

I believe that the art of discovery is a field full of mistakes waiting to happen. I am terrorized by the thought of failure or the lack of success, while at the same time much of why I have succeeded at all is that very deficiency. If I didn’t first stumble I would not appreciate being proficient at taking great strides. A youthful misstep hopefully will never define the adult persona in full, but instead help secure the infrastructure that supports the foundation of maturity.

If only I knew then what I know now, would I bear witness to empathy,

would I know compassion for those aberrations that I cannot comprehend, or would I simply turn away with an unsympathetic glance because I knew? The very lapses in judgement that I would sell my soul to protect my children from are the exact pieces of the puzzle they themselves must solve to grow.

If only I knew then what I know now, would I know where to look for experiences that allow me to focus on relevance? The imagery that forms the very analogies that I and my parents use for rationalization would never be understood. Would I ever wonder what I didn’t know because I was sure I already knew?

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