Life does not teach life

Wisdom can be offered at anytime, at any place, and in any shape or form. You can ask for a G&T across a busy bar and get back something you didn’t even know you were looking for.

I remember being in my twenties and feeling terribly grown-up. I cannot pinpoint when this ‘grown-up’ attitude was bestowed upon me, but I’ll always remember when I discovered that life was innocent. Yes, life, which is so often called a ‘bitch’, had been saved by an intoxicated and geeky-looking guy from Oxford University in a bar in Soho.

“Nothing can teach life except life”, he slurred.  Although somewhat inebriated, the boy made sense - life teaches life.

Pondering my new found wisdom that life was teaching me all she could in preparation for unforeseeable catastrophes, emotional and otherwise, I soon realised something: life was innocent. That is to say, life is without guilt; without blame; uncomplicated; untainted and a dedicated follower of fashion (think how one season always follows the next). How can life teach life?  Isn’t each new step a new pitfall, a new struggle?  Life can only teach life if there is some kind of uniformity. Okay, a broken heart will always hurt, spring will always follow winter, but with each new experience, there’s a new version of self. Your next heartbreak will be different from your first; you’re unlikely to use the same mechanisms you used to cope with the first heartbreak as you will never be the same person you were when you first felt the struggle. We seem to think we learn from life as we carry on coping and living - but surviving and coping is the most natural thing to do. I’ve coped with the death of my mother, relationship break-ups and continuous hangovers on Monday mornings. To survive simply means you’re not dead.

Life cannot teach life, and this is the very essence of it; maybe that’s why she’s called a ‘bitch’?  Maybe I’m talking poetic bullshit and making excuses for never learning lessons, but I’d like to thank Mr Oxford for enlightening me.  I’ll never be the same…