An error made on your own

I joined the “Free Believers Network” page on Facebook a while ago and have found some interesting and thought-provoking posts and comments and articles there.  Today a quote someone posted caught my attention:

“…an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error.”  -Ayn Rand

I think she makes an interesting point.  I have mostly not been an experientially-focused person.  Even from a young age I have lived (or have tried to live) by the saying “learn from the mistakes of others.”  I still see a lot of merit in that.  After all, life IS rather short to go making all the mistakes myself….but I have found that I’ve gone to the other extreme and am now often afraid of making my own mistakes.  And having to live with the consequences.

For most of my life I have accepted the “ten truths on faith”, not having the wisdom of experience to evaluate the validity or merit of those “truths”, and now I find myself having to re-evaluate.  But what standard am I to use to distinguish truth from error?  Experience, apparently.  Which means I need to actually experience something.  Will I survive?

Actually, this is something that keeps coming up in the things I read, the stuff I’ve been listening to, and many of the conversations I’ve had with people lately.  That is, the idea of relaxing and letting myself make mistakes.  Allowing myself the freedom to live life, make decisions, and learn from the “bad” or “foolish” decisions I make without condemning myself.

It’s almost as though the universe is trying to shake me awake and say “Hey!  Get up and go live your life!”

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