The value of experience is found in the times we want to throw in the towel, but do not. Instead, we stretch our abilities past their bounds. Failures in our lives lead to growth. It is a part of life. For instance, Chef’s need to learn through testing what ingredients work well together in order to know the proper way to cook a dish. A Chef doesn’t create perfection the first time he makes a receipt. All crafts must be refined through failure and small wins. I do not want to be a chef, but I am testing my skills each day.
Nelson Mandela said, “I never lose. I win or learn.”
A few days ago a friend asked why I wanted to extend my service a year. I responded by saying the Peace Corps gives me the opportunity to sharpen my skills on a smaller stage. That way I can be prepared when on a bigger stage. I learned this lesson long ago. We will practice like we play. Exactly like a sportsman on a practice field. And, practice makes perfect.
Peace Corps volunteers are in an extraordinary position to gain experience and test our skills each day. We can grow on a healthy scale and pace. This will pay huge dividends in the future. We must continue to pile up wins and learn from our losses. Like a scientist in his lab. We are in a relatively controlled environment where we can become a master at our craft through experimenting with theories and creating some of our own.
*These are the thoughts of Richard J. Roman and are not those of the Peace Corps or its affiliates.