I have recently come to the conclusion that I have become a lifelong learner.
Sometimes, insights come from unexpected places.
Yesterday, I had the chance to read an article by Malcolm Gladwell (author of The Tipping Point), first published in 1998, about Judith Rich Harris and her theories about child development. (The article can be found here on Gladwell’s web site.)
The gist of the article, and Harris’ theory, is that what we learn outside the home—i.e., what we learn from our peers—has more impact on how we turn out than what we learn from our parents.
As I read the article, a lot of things suddenly started to make some sense—
About three months ago, I wrote a story—a short story—about a childhood episode (“the Nikki incident”, I sometimes call it) that ended up having enormous influence on my life. Emerging from a period in which I got divorced, moved into a place of my own for the first time in a decade, and began re-thinking just about everything, it seemed to be the right time to confront—and dispose of—this difficult memory and what I had allowed it to do to me.
However, as the movie Magnolia puts it, “we may be through with the past, but the past ain’t through with us.”