Everyone is heavily influenced by what they’ve experienced firsthand, because what you’ve experienced is more persuasive than something you read about.

~ Morgan Housel from,

That’s one small insight from a bunch in an article nominally about finance. Most of the others also apply to life generally. What’s that old saw from Twain? Something like, “holding a cat by the tail, you’ll learn something through experience that can be learned no other way.” I find it fascinating that, although I’d wager none of you have done that with a cat, we all have a good idea of what we’d learn in the doing.

Related, I once managed—mostly successfully—to wrangle a 6-foot iguana which had horrifically befouled itself, into a warm, steamy shower enclosure, myself remaining outside. It occurred to me to use long oven mitts, to grab from behind, and to keep her oriented so her thrashing tail swung in a plane not including any of me. Through that experience I learned a lot about an iguana’s claws, the true range-of-motion of that body plan’s limbs, and the level of focus and determination she had from millions of years of evolution. We also developed a new relationship: me, wary. Her, indefatigable drive to some day murder my pasty, clawless ass.


People need to travel

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

~ Mark Twain