Some of life's best lessons are learned at the worst times. Learning is a gift, everybody learns different lessons in different ways and learning itself is a process. Some of life's best lessons are learned at the worst times. Learning is a gift, everybody learns different lessons in different ways and learning itself is a process. Edwin and Garvey, these two officers taught Cole different lessons during Cole's journey to self-realization. Although all the lessons taught to Cole were unusual because they involved such items as a cake, a stick and a hot dog, they all effectively taught Cole how to take control of his life.
The first lesson that taught Cole to take control of his life was when Garvey used the cake. Garvey laid out salt, flour, eggs, baking soda, a bottle of water, sugar, butter, and molasses and told Cole to taste everything separately. Cole tasted and told Garvey that the taste was gross. Then Garvey unwrapped a small baked cake with creamy frosting and broke off a large piece. He asked Cole to give that cake a try, Cole tasted and told Garvey that the cake was okay. But Cole did not know that the cake was made by the individual ingredients Cole had tasted before. The things that tasted alone were not good at all but when the things combined together the taste was delicious. Garvey wanted to teach Cole that this relates to his life. He has the choice to take all of the ingredients and make them into something good such as a cake. His life was full of things that 'didn't taste good', but he could choose to take those ingredients (life situations) and make something good out of his life. The lesson Garvey tried to teach Cole using a cake was that Cole had to learn to take charge of his own life, things tasted bad alone, but when they combined together the taste was acceptable, Cole had to know that.
Another lesson that Garvey taught Cole to take charge of his life was the hot dog Garvey asked Cole to prepare. Garvey told Cole that the hot dog was a big deal, a party, a feast, a sharing and celebration. All because that was what he made it, Cole's were just simply food because that was all he chose for it. All of life is a hot dog, Garvey suggested Cole to make his time on an Island for a celebration. The whole world is a hot dog. Using a hot dog is a simple example, Cole can have a simple boring life or doing an amazing celebration for the little things even for a beautiful day. Garvey made this comment to Cole in order to help him understand the importance of changing one's mindset. This gets closer to the time Cole spent on an Island with excitement rather than boredom. Same as the cake ingredients example, Garvey wanted Cole to know that he had the right to control his life and do not anybody manipulate his life, make of it what he would.
The last lesson that Edwin taught Cole to remember anger is a memory that never can be forgotten was about an unbreakable left side of the stick. Edwin and Cole went to the stream and he declared that they would go swimming in a freezing pond for teaching Cole a lesson. He made Cole dip completely into the water shoulder-high and then asked him to break a stick, which left side represented anger and right side represented happiness. If Cole focused on anger and tried to break the left side off, a left side of the stick always remains. But Cole had the chance to choose to focus on the good features and not let anger get over himself. The stick, hot dogs, life, were all the same. It was what you make of it. What you focus on becomes reality. Everybody carries anger inside. But also Happiness. Those who focus on angry will always be angry. Those who focus on happiness will always be happy. The stick lesson has the same meaning with the cake ingredients and the hot dog lesson about taking charge of your life.
Throughout the whole story, the more Cole took responsibility for his past and present, the more he was able to take charge of his own life and be both mentally and spiritually strong. All of the three examples of lessons Garvey and Edwin tried to teach Cole was that they hoped Cole would be responsible for his life and himself, without regret. Sometimes the most important life lessons are the ones we end up learning the hard way. No matter who teaches Cole lessons about life, he won't understand it until he goes through it on his own and then gets inspired, so do we.