an experience is worth more than 1000 words

If a picture is worth a thousand words, the actual experience is priceless. For instance, consider seeing the Grand Canyon. I have seen many pictures of it. Once I glimpsed the Big Hole in the Ground during an IMAX movie. That fell short of the awe I experienced the day I stood on the rim looking across that chasm as I felt the wind off the canyon. Thanks to photography many have captured an idea of the canyon’s beautiful vastness. For me, a day spent walking and touring along the rim, peering over the guardrail then stepping back in fear of its depth, impacted me more than a picture. I could not get enough of its grandeur. Words fail me for describing it. The same deficiency comes when I read a book and then see the movie made from the book. I come away saying, “it just is not the same. The book has so much more.” The limitations of video and pictures compared to the real thing came to mind during a conversation with the grandmother of teenagers. The church youth minister had planned a weekend trip for the teens to visit some landmarks. I do not remember where. I do remember their grandmother’s words, “Well, I found some videos about it online. I had them sit down and watch them. They didn’t need to go to see it.” I felt so sorry for the teens. They had missed an experience that would have stretched their imaginations. They missed seeing it in person. They missed interacting with peers as they shared the discovery. Videos and books do not compare to a real time interaction. Don’t get me wrong. Videos have expanded our knowledge immensely. Hubby spends hours watching other folks explain step by step how to repair a sewing machine, a car, or some gadget. I watched the video on how to thread the serger sewing machine many times before I finally got the hang of it. Reading its written instructions came in distant second place to that. A fellow seamstress said, “I took my serger to the repair man to thread it. He very carefully showed me how to do it and sat there making sure I knew how to do it myself.” Being taught by a person who paced himself as she processed the information made a difference. Recently, my grandson jumped into a hands-on education in car repair. It began with him saying, “Dad my brakes are squeaking.” Dad took it out for a drive. Returned and said it might need brakes. Mom, Dad, and Eli weighed the cost of taking the vehicle to the shop for new brake pads. “Go to Youtube and see how it is done.” Grandpa said.“Our friend repairs his cars. Stop by and talk with him,” his mom said.Eli went to the friend first. The experienced friend walked Eli through the steps for changing brake pads. Eli came home dirty but very proud. He had changed the pads himself, saved a lot of money and gained confidence he could maybe even tackle other car repairs. An online seminar proved the difference between in person and online. During the isolation of Covid, one of the annual seminars I had previously attended decided to hold the seminar online that year. Sitting in a mostly empty auditorium I found the whole experience tedious. I missed interacting with other people. As did students during the isolation of Covid. Yes, they received prepared lessons via various online venues. In the years that followed the quarantine, standardized tests measured the inadequacy of that technique. Students suffered from the lack of personal interaction and accountability. Some still struggle to catch up.All of which validates the value of hands-on experiences. Go, take your own pictures and get immersed in the real world.