There is some knowledge gained from life experience that cannot be learned from books. I firmly believe that experience gained from participation in real life situations, far exceeds the knowledge gained from merely reading about it in a book. As the physicist Albert Einstein rightfully said: "Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience." Having said that, what makes experience such a powerful tool for gaining knowledge? This essay aims to contrast gaining knowledge from experience, to that of gaining knowledge from books, and conclude with knowledge gained through experience as being superior.
From the moment we are born, learning is all about gathering experiences from the stimulus exerted on us by our immediate world. This stimulus continues to shape our behaviour throughout the rest of our lives. Mark Twain, an American author, summarised learning from experience in a profound way saying: "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way." Interacting with the world around us involves changing direction of the mind through inputs from our organs sensing sentient matter like taste, touch, sight, smell and sound. The knowledge gained from these sensory experiences would be impossible to assimilate by simply reading about the topic. Even if a pro-golfer wrote a well illustrated book, capturing the essence of being a pro-golfer, it would still be impossible to develop the required motor skills to hit a hole in one on the golf course. Life in essence, is the process of being moulded through a chain of experiences. After all, "practice makes perfect."