Modern schooling is virtually experience-free. Its victims are widely known for their inability to do anything practical, or to possess even fundamental useful knowledge such as food production skills, or distances between major population centers, or the relation of principal nations to one another, or the history and nature of important institutions.
Experience-light individuals have been avoided throughout history for dangerous innocence and awful lack of self-insight; it appears impossible to comprehend large abstractions like “democracy” and “justice” without the feedback of actual experience with their counterparts in operation.
What we are as individuals – and the fascination we hold for other people as friends and even as employees – depends upon our stock of experiences. When you reflect on how much of our learning comes from emulation, from imitating people we watch, it’s easy to see how popular wisdom like “you are known by the company you keep” has developed. It also isn’t hard to see how limited opportunities for emulation are for the inexperienced.
Jahn Taylor Gatto