"Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced." How can I interpret this quote in my own words?

Expert Answers
readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many ways to interpret these words.  One interpretation underlines the importance experiencing everything that life has to throw at you, good and bad, especially the bad. If we try to solve all of our trials, then we might not learn valuable lessons. For example, how do we learn grit? We need to persevere when times are difficult.  How do we learn to forgive, which is important in a broken world? When we are wronged, we forgive. How do we learn to see things from the perspective of another person?  We need to come out of our places of comfort. This is why religious traditions do not always shun hardships. Instead life must be embraced. Here is a quote from St. Paul.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4)

St. James says the same thing but in a more colorful way:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

If we go back to the quote, the experience of life, good and bad, helps us mature.  Of course, no one likes to suffer at the time, but often people look back and learn that they have matured. Here is an example from To Kill a Mockingbird. When Atticus took on the trial of Tom Robinson, hardships resulted. Scout and Jem experienced the frustration of the prejudiced community and their peers. But if we look at the end of the novel, we see that both Scout and Jem emerged as amazing people. Scout learned to walk in another person’s skin. Jem learned what it meant to be courageous.

In conclusion, we need to learn from life. Learning by experiencing is the best way. When we are too busy trying to find a solution, we miss these golden opportunities that may only come once in a lifetime.