Sayings are often considered to be conclusions reached after a lifetime of experience. The thumb-rules to guide you through life. Often we study religion and philosophy to seek guidance and find the ideal to model our lives on. We also encourage the young to read widely. The story of the ascent of man is inspirational. The journey from living on trees to living in a house, or how we have moved from squatting to sitting in a chair. Especially the story of flight and the journey to space.
But that is so much in the past. The challenges in the future continue to be daunting. The risk of annihilation from nuclear weapons or the threat from terrorists inspired by religion; or both combined; the various types of threats to the environment all to do with human development and industry. The more immediate threats to life and livelihood continue to exist.
Try googling contradictory sayings. You know you can’t follow both of them at the same time. Like “look before you leap” and “He who hesitates is lost”.
Is it possible that all narrative is fiction. There is nothing to learn as all learning is either contradictory or self-defeating.
The ape sitting on his chair pressing keys on a computer has imagined a lot and created the modern world, but he has learned nothing.
Because all narrative adds up. To zero.