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I have written about the importance of trial & of experiment.  Particularly for young people, I have advocated the importance of giving it a try. It is because we all have inherent desire to explore, experiment and try ourselves. When we are very young, we wanted to try everything ourselves. We have lost that curiosity and initiative somewhere along the way.

As I reflect back my own behavior, however, I realize that sometimes I do NOT give opportunities to young people to experiment.  After I joined KMD, I was a bit surprised at the fact that some 80% of the students are right out of college, much younger than the people I have been familiar with.  Now I find myself having tried to guide them too much, as I realized that some of them have not been trained to sort information themselves, put them together to make a sense, and form their own views.

I now feel that they have to experiment themselves and do what they think is appropriate without me guiding or leading too much.  It is likely that they make mistakes, but learning from own mistakes is one of the best ways to master something.  So now I let them think and do as they think appropriate.  It is because I am convinced that learning by doing is the best way to develop skills and ability to think, take action and be responsible for the consequences of own decisions.  I am also convinced that the young generation have potential to do so when given the opportunity.

It took a while for me to realize this, but I think we are moving along, no matter how many obstacles we face. One student made the comment the other day, “Children can experiment because they have no risk”, implying that as we get older, we have too much to lose.  My response  was “If you do not want to fail, do nothing.  But is that kind of life fun for you?”  What do you think?

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