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3: Difficulty at the Beginning
4: Youthful Folly
Be on guard for the careless or rebellious attitudes characteristic of inexperience. Just as a youth requires instruction, this is a good time to focus on learning lessons from a patient teacher or life experience. Is there a circumstance in your life that you have failed to comprehend, perhaps because you didn’t appreciate its inherent complexities? Be respectful of anything or anyone who has something to teach you right now. If you are focusing on a relationship, ask yourself which of you is the student and which of you is the sage right now. If you are a parent, ask yourself: Who is being the teacher -- you or your child?
In order to be ready for challenging times, let education be an ongoing part of your life. Develop the strong mind and will necessary to carry you through confusing times. The wise realize that experience, especially difficult experience, is a most powerful teacher. But we cannot be forced to learn, even from experience. Be the humble student who delights in learning, the one who nourishes an expanding awareness.
Examine your attitude for factors that would limit your openness. Observe how you deal with the mistakes of others. Let people live their own lives and learn their own lessons. You may offer them your wisdom or advice, but do so only if they are receptive. Otherwise, give up trying to convince others that you are right -- which is exhausting and counter-productive. If people are not receptive, let them proceed, even into difficult or dangerous circumstances. It may be the only way they can learn and, without learning, no one can achieve success. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care, but trying to take care of someone else can sometimes actually be harmful. Live and let learn.
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