Why don’t we ever learn?

My cat fell in the bathtub once when my son was in there taking a bath. The cat was new to the house at that point, and had probably never seen a tub full of water. The famous saying, “Curiosity soaked the cat,” rang true at this instance. He looked like a giant rat, and he hastily disappeared to that place where cats go when they disappear. But do you know what? He never did it again. Not once did he even contemplate coming near the tub when it was full and otherwise occupied by a child. It took one time and that was it. Lesson learned.

Similarly, my dog is terrified of the vacuum. Nothing traumatic happened to her as far as I know, but she inherently knows to avoid the vacuum when it fires up (which is not as often as it should, btw).

And yet, we as human beings, the top of the food chain, allegedly the most intelligent creatures on the planet, don’t learn our lesson the way animals do. We continue to make the same mistakes and hurt ourselves in the same way, over and over again. Take, for instance, the woman who continues to date douchebags or guys who cheat. It’s the same thing, over and over again, and yet we repeat the same behavior, expecting different results.

I’m not immune to this by any stretch. There are a couple of lessons I need to learn but not sure if I will:

  • I should absolutely not drink alcohol. In addition to the fact that I am taking pills which state clearly on the bottle that drinking is not such a hot idea, I think some pretty stupid things are a good idea when I do. I don’t drink that often, but I should just give it up entirely. And yet, put me in a social situation and I will do it anyway. Then, several hours later when I am dealing with the horrible reaction my body (namely, my stomach) has, I curse myself for giving in.
  • Eating things that make me feel bad, such as cake. It makes me feel good while I’m eating it, and then I am immediately filled with self-loathing and think that I am too fat to leave the house and be seen in public. Then, when I do eventually show my face I will just go ahead and eat more cake.
  • Yelling “DONT YELL” or “STOP SCREAMING” is counterintuitive and ineffective.
  • Continually misjudging the amount of time it takes me to get ready in the morning.
  • I will not want to clean the litterbox any more in an hour than I do right now, so why don’t I just do it now and get it over with?
  • I have plenty of Bath & Body Works products at home; I DO NOT NEED MORE.

I’m sure there are many, many more lessons I have yet to learn, and the trouble is, I’ve forgotten what they are, which means I am guaranteed to make the same mistakes again and again.

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