chapter  5
The Meaning of Lived Experience
Pages 10

Experience comes to us in two ways. There is firstly the slow incremental process of becoming experienced. An experienced parent or teacher gets to be so in the course of time, through the day to day business of coping, managing and dealing with their own children or a classroom of them-and children, of course, reciprocally, become experienced in dealing with their parents and teachers. An experience however stands out from the unremarkable, unnoticed, incremental accumulation of life experience. It is by definition an occasional, now-and-then occurrence-a singularity, a one-of-a-kind sort of thing. This distinction has something in common with that, in German, between erlebnis and erfahrung, the former referring to special or meaningful life-experiences, and the latter to the weight of incremental life experience. The former is immediate and unreflective; the latter accumulates in time and is reflective.1