Let’s be honest… nobody likes learning from their mistakes. Trouble is, the older you get the bigger the mistakes get and the quicker the taunt of hindsight kicks in. The teardown of our annual camping trip, amid a tropical storm worthy downpour that flooded everything in sight, after a changeable weather weekend, illustrates how hindsight works in real life.
Hindsight is 20/20. Perfect. Clear. And only available after the fact.
You see, too late to make a difference of course, how you could have done things better, prepared for what now seems so obviously likely. You curse the arrogance (or was it laziness?) that kept you from using resources that might have given fair warning, resources you had right at hand no less. Too late you see the chances you wasted without knowing the utter, soaking misery to come.
Why can’t we have that super clear vision BEFORE the lesson?
It’s probably because we’re too busy living the moment to stop and be aware of much else, especially something that isn’t shouting from the rooftops to get our attention. We’re feeling and breathing and existing in the physical world around us, caught up in what we’re doing or about to do. Our minds are busy, our bodies are working and time is passing unnoticed. Predictions, even a moment into the future are impossible for us. We never see in advance what’s coming.
So hindsight teaches the lesson, even to older people who should know better.
Which is probably for the best. If people had the gift of foresight we’d probably never leave the house (go camping), much less have entertaining “war stories” to share. There would be no lessons painfully learned and long remembered. No opportunity to laugh at your own predicament, to suffer and struggle and come out soaked to the skin but packed up and ready to hit the road.
No chance to do better next time.