Many people often feel that one of the reasons that adults get to determine what children should do is that they have experience that children don’t have due to their age. Adults look back over their lives and determine what has been beneficial or detrimental to them and use that information to decide what children should or shouldn’t do.
The problem with that, though, is just because something went a specific way for one person doesn’t mean it will go the same way for the next person. Generations are different, context is different, and people are different. One person shouldn’t necessarily impose the lessons they learned from their experience on anyone else.
People who are older than other people often feel that they have the right to tell younger people what to do because they have “learned from their experience”. The issue, though, is that what each person learns from their experience is different. Each person should be allowed to learn from their own experiences.
I find it valuable to hear about other people’s experience. I like to hear what other people have been through, good and bad, it’s interesting and could be helpful for me. I keep an open mind as to what I can get from other people’s experiences. I use what I hear though and filter it though my own experiences, values, lessons I’ve learned and an understanding of who I am to consider how to use the information from others.
The tyranny of experience needs to be curtailed. Grownups think they know how children should and shouldn’t do things because of how their own lives have gone. The problem, though, is that cutting someone else off from learning through the experiences they choose stops the learning process. Telling someone of your experience can be helpful, but it needs to be done without imposing the lessons learned.
Imposing the lessons that you’ve learned from an experience onto someone else disrespects each individuals’ differences and the fact that just because a particular experience affected one person one way, doesn’t meant that it will affect the next person the same way. Assuming that everyone learns the same thing from a specific kind of an experience is unfair and disrespectful.
Don’t get me wrong, experience is very useful and can help other people learn, but imposing the lessons we learned from our own experiences on others doesn’t make sense. People of all ages, children or adults, should be allowed to create their own experiences and draw the lessons from them that they feel are important.