All Life Is an Experiment – January 2014

by Nancy Teatreaux

in Events

Years ago I began putting things on my refrigerator door such as magnets and pictures, and to this day I affix all sorts of stuff. I consider it a tiny outlet of creative expression. One of the first items I ever clomped on to the ‘fridge door, right at eye level, was a fortune from a fortune cookie.

It’s a square rather than a rectangular bit of paper and it has a tiny picture of a smiling Chinese man wearing a conical rice hat – about as stereotypical as it could be. And though it is now fragile and barely legible, I still keep that little scrap right where I can see it every day because I still appreciate its message:

“All life is an experiment.”

There are so many layers of meaning that could be ascribed to those few words.  Philosophers have written volumes on this topic for millennia. But I like these five words on this tiny piece of paper that was once scrunched into a cookie.  It reminds me not to take things too seriously.  It reminds me that every day is an opportunity to try something new, or to look at old things in a new way. How can anything change or improve without experiment?  If something doesn’t work the first, second or third time, it’s OK.  That’s what experimentation is for.  We learn a little more with each attempt.

You’ve probably heard it told that Thomas Edison tried hundreds times to invent the light bulb before he discovered the affordable filament that would keep his bulb alight for hours.  He famously said:

“I haven’t failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – Thomas Edison
As you embark on 2014, try new things or finally do the thing you always wanted to try. And if something doesn’t work the first time, don’t give up – don’t be afraid to experiment!




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