A Recipe For Life
Life Experience: Experience gained through living.
We all live! Some of us live full, eventful, lives packed with moments that provide a life time of memories to share and lessons to learn from. Others wake up, go to work, get home, watch telly, go to bed and do this routine on a daily basis with little or no deviation.
While the premise of Life Experience can be age related on a purely logical level - an older person has been around longer so must have more experience...right? - it doesn't necessarily follow. In fact I think that very often we can do without the word Life.
While I accept that there are certain things that a younger person won't have experienced, I don't believe they should be ruled out of the equation for other things. If a 10 year old has been skiing every year since they were 7 years old, while not necessarily an expert they will have had more experience than the 40 year old who's never even tried it. A teenager who has experienced the tragedy of a friend's suicide may well have more understanding than the 30 year old who's yet to experience their first bereavement.
Let's say you're the manager of a shop and one day you get a little pamphlet in the post describing a product that sounds absolutely delicious enclosed is a small sample of the product. It's the most unique product you've ever come across full of wonderful flavours, the packaging looks stunning and you just know that this would fly off the shelves. You decide that you're going to place an order of a few units as a trial run. The product arrives and indeed it does fly off the shelves, so quickly that you have to double the next order, the treble it and so on! For several months you have been enjoying the product and you've even started to stock other products from the same company.
One day a 15 year old boy comes in to the shop and asks to meet you. You have a very full schedule but graciously agree to meet him thinking he'll just be asking for a weekend job and you can give him an application form to fill in. Two minutes tops!
In walks the boy and he opens with "I just wanted to come by and say thank you." You ask why. The boy replies. "At the beginning of the year my grandmother passed away. This was a really upsetting time for us all as she was, we felt, the glue that held the family together." The boy continued. "From a very young age I'd always taken an interest in cooking and she guided me through some of her favourite recipes, largely leaving me to do it all myself but stepping in if there was anything that needed help. As I grew older the recipes began to get more involved but the end results were always pleasing to everyone who tasted them. When she passed away I decided I wanted to keep her memory alive and for more people to sample her recipes so on the off chance I decided that I'd do a small sample, enclose a leaflet and offer to sell the produce. I even learnt how to use graphic design software so I could produce the imagery for the label. I sent you a pamphlet and a free sample. You placed an order, then another order, then another order and now you've ordered even more that I've had to enlist the help of my family to fulfil the demands. You've given our family a new lease of life and you took a chance on me....so thank you." Ask yourself this question...had this 15 year old walked in off the street and tried to sell you a product would you have listened or taken him seriously? Or would you have dismissed him out of hand because he's "so young"?
Yes, as you grow older you get more Life Experience because you've lived longer but it's actually by doing different things and learning new skills that you gain it. This is why I have a huge amount of respect for people who take a gap year (or two (or more)) before going to university, especially if they spend their time working, travelling or trying out new things. But regardless of your age - never stop learning, never stop trying new things!
What are you waiting for? Do that new thing you've always wanted to try and if you want to find more information out ask someone but don't dismiss them on account of their age...you may just be missing out on something amazing.