by Adam Zack — October 30, 2019
This morning I was at a breakfast and the guest speaker was Captain Brien Dixon, Commanding Office of Naval Base Point Loma (San Diego). It’s a huge responsibility, and he oversees Naval stations throughout the Western United States. (Yes, there are Naval bases in states where there is no ocean). He talked about plans and projects that look not just at the next decade, but at the next 100 years! He is incredibly smart, practical and inspires patriotism. He’s commanded four different submarines all over the world, has a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and is a great family man. Besides all the interesting projects our country is working on (Drone ships that look and appear to be battleships, but are really catamarans), threats to our country (China), and preservation and restoration of beaches from erosion, there was one thing that really stood out to me. He talked about the mistakes others have made, and how we are supposed to learn from them, but in truth that really doesn’t happen. Maybe the smartest people on the planet, of which I am not one of, learn from and study the mistakes of others, but the vast majority of us only learn from our own mistakes. When we make mistakes, we personally suffer the consequences. When other people make them, we may sympathize, talk about it or read about it, but we don’t really learn from it. I make mistakes every single day, and just like I assume that people learn from things I do right by example, I assume they are learning from my screw ups too. Kind of an arrogant assumption, it turns out. People learn when you show them, teach them, talk to them – then let them succeed or make their own mistakes.
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