Falling is part of learning to ride a bicycle. We usually don’t suddenly quit forever. Maybe we pause briefly, but we ultimately keep on riding.
This “bouncing back” mechanism is healthy for failures that we can afford to experience. If we stopped every activity after experiencing failure, we wouldn’t get better at anything.
Yet, if we’re not careful, the same mechanism can be problematic with catastrophic events.
After a devastating economic crisis, hurricane, earthquake, pandemic or bankruptcy, we may feel we learned our lesson. We’ll need to make sure to defend ourselves better the next time around. We’ll have to take some precautions. Unlike a bicycle ride, the consequences are too costly.
But these events are rare. After things normalize, it becomes easy to go back to our previous ways. Lessons from the disaster can quickly dissipate and the precautions start to seem unnecessary. We gradually begin making decisions based on recent experience, which does not include a disaster.
This type of “bouncing back” can prove to be quite unhealthy. For survival and growth, lessons from experience should always contain traces of older devastations to make sure that we don’t have to relearn from catastrophes.