Updated: Aug 4, 2020
Have you ever heard the saying "Wisdom comes from experience"? Well, I've always sort of disagreed with that. In life, we experience a lot of things, but don't necessarily gain wisdom. I believe that wisdom comes from evaluated experience. When we take the time to identify and extract that which can be learned from an experience. It doesn't have to be a big occurrence either, it can also be the smallest happening. With that being said, I really do try to evaluate the things I go through to find what it is that I can get from it, but sometimes it just comes to me.
Let me tell you all a story from one of those times.
So when I was in College, one of the closest stores to our campus was a CVS. We use to walk to it all the time, but it was a mile away. So one day my friend Roose and I wanted some snacks, so we decided to go to CVS. We walked the mile and started shopping. Now we come across the aisle that has the water in it and much to our pleasant surprise, there was a SALE! Now who doesn't love a sale right; even if it's something you may not like, you still get a little happy, right? Now this sale was on the 24 bottle packs of water and it was going for $1.98. A DOLLAR AND NINETY EIGHT CENTS for TWENTY FOUR bottles of water. Now I don't know about you but that's a whole steal to me. As happy as we were, we still knew that if we bought this water, we would have to carry it back a mile. One mile isn't bad when you're empty handed, but when you have to carry a 30 pound weight (plus the snacks we were definitely still going to buy), that's a whole different story. Before you ask, no, there was no Uber back then.
Now let me give you the quickest background about Roose and I. We are both Haitian. I don't know if you know anything about the Haitian culture, but we are some strong people. Women (much like in the African culture) carry heavy loads (often water) long distances in our native land. Now you can take a girl out of Haiti, but you cannot take Haiti out of the girl.
So like the thugs we are, we grabbed a pack of water (each) and our snacks. We paid, put the packs of water atop our heads, and started walking back to the school. Folks in traffic were honking at us, asking us questions, encouraging us, and all. We continued on. Upon arriving to campus, we felt victorious. All we had to do was get in the building and up the stairs. Now as we were about to turn the corner into our building, a gentleman that we knew came out of a place we called "The dugout" holding a water bottle in his hands (That part is going to be important in a few seconds). The dugout is where we could buy some hot food and where a few vending machines were located. Now he sees us with the packs of water on our heads and he asks us where we're coming from. Excitedly (Like a girl showing off the pockets in her dress/skirt) we exclaim "CVS, THEY'RE ON SALE FOR $1.98". His face dropped in disappointment. Uuuuhm, definitely not the response we were expecting. Then he lifts up the water bottle in his hands and says to us "I just bought this one bottle of water from the vending machine for $2". Trying not to make him feel bad, we just stayed positive and encouraged him to go get him a case. Then we went and dropped off the packs in our dorm rooms.
Just in case you missed what just happened here: He had 1 bottle of water for $2, we had 24 bottles of water for just about $2.
Now what was the wisdom to be gained here? Well I'm glad you asked. There are sooo many things you can extract from this simple story; but, I think I can sum it up into one phrase: Delayed gratification. Right? It's all about the value of hard work. One person walked over to 1 building and received the instant gratification of having a fresh new cold bottle of water to enjoy in the moment. The other two had to walk a mile, buy the packs, walk it back over, refrigerate it and wait. Now when you just think about the moment, HECK YEAH I WANT MY COLD WATER NOW. But do you need it now? Check this out: money wise, it cost us pretty much the same amount, two dollars. But for Roose and I, it didn't just cost money, it cost us time, energy, effort, and patience. But we had 24 times the amount that he did. For him he gained a fresh bottle of water. For us, we gained strength in our patience, strength in our bodies, and strength in our endurance.
Did I lose ya'll?
Ok, listen. The point is not the water. Replace the water with the thing that you are pining after right now. Replace the water with something that you feel like you can't wait for. Is it worth having less or a lower quality just to have it now? Or, can you wait? Can you be patient? Can you work a little harder, or a little longer?
You may have extracted your own thing from this and I would like you to share. Or maybe you would like to share a story and the wisdom you gleaned. Go for it! Share! I would love to hear it.
Lighting up the woods, one Syllable at a time