How are you doing, my fellow zombie? I am so happy you chose to join us here again.
I actually LOLed (there’s a shout out to you tweeters and texters from the written page) when Nicole emailed me the theme to the issue of Synergy that you are holding in your hands right now. The laughter was of the respectful variety though, as the theme of this edition hits to the very heart of a question I have wrestled with for quite awhile.
Do we create experiences, or do experiences create us?
I’m talking spirit and soul here. Obviously it was the experience of sex and a sperm wooing an egg that created us physically. And yes, my fellow deeper pondering zombies, I realize the topic of how all the forces (fate, experience, alcohol, etc.) had to come together for that lovemaking to occur is totally fascinating too. There’s just not enough room in this column to go there.
So let’s go back to the query at hand. Do we create experiences or do experiences create us?
If we ignore the similarities to the ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg’ mindset, it’s an interesting path to meander down.
At the baby/toddler stage, it’s pretty apparent we create our own experiences because our ‘experience well’ is bone dry. As toddlers we do what we do, making that ‘experience well’ deeper. Crying really loud to get what we want? That works. Falling down the stairs? That one gets dropped into the well as a not-very-good-idea. Sticking a fork into the electrical socket? Freaking horrible idea.
As we get older, we continue to fill our ‘experience well’ by creating experiences. I think this is why 99.9% of us wax nostalgically about those young carefree days. We couldn’t let experience create us because we didn’t have any.
As we move through our teenage years and into adulthood, we let experience take a greater and greater role in creating us.
It isn’t all the time that we do this of course. In that great tennis game we call life, we go back and forth, back and forth. We volley, we backhand, we overhead smash. I’m willing to wager though, my fellow zombie, that your happiest moments come from a time where you created your own experiences, not the other way around.
A great example of this happened to me semi-recently. I went to Maui with my fiancée and my wonderful soon-to-be out-laws. We were all hanging on the beach when my future father-in-law handed me a mask and snorkel to use.
Now, experience told me that I didn’t much care for snorkeling. Noticing a many people out there doing it, however, caused me to dismiss what my experience was attempting to dictate me to do and actually give snorkeling a shot.
Lo and behold, I absolutely loved it and couldn’t get enough of it. Snorkeling became one of the highlights of my trip.
So now it’s up to you, my fellow zombie. Go out there and create an experience, don’t let it create you.
Humanity Man resides on this beautiful yet goofy planet we call earth. He likes peace, love, and creating experiences. He dislikes war, hate, and when experiences create him.