Some of the most obvious mistakes have created the most monumental discoveries. The slinky, silly putty and potato chips. More importantly, Penicillin created by mistake! Did these inventors hang their head in shame? Obviously not, a great use came out of the mistake. When Mark Twain was asked who is the greatest inventor? His reply was “accident”.
Those examples put making a “mistake” into perspective. A mistake should not give cause to blame, ostracize or shame. Instead it should be revered as growth, spontaneity, and decision making.
Sometimes it can be amusing. Have you watched a child asked to choose between two gummy bears? They’ve tasted neither but must choose, and they shake and hover because it could be a mistake. The treat is tantalizing and they choose and live with the decision. Sometimes that decision may involve disappointment. What of teenagers nearly paralyzed with indecision; which clothes to wear to an event, if they make a mistake they might be laughed at or made to feel foolish or stand out awkwardly. They feel they only have one chance to get it right! They can’t make a mistake or . . .
Is it because at some point, someone has made an issue of making a mistake? “You’d better not make a mistake!” That would only be true if pulling the red wire not the blue wire meant instant death.
Making a mistake can create strength of character and opportunity for growth. If it’s a simple mistake, we can repair it, especially if it pertains to others. It’s a lesson learned and often not repeated.
Sometimes I think the fear of making a mistake is our desire to avoid looking foolish to others. Perhaps we have made a wretched mistake in the past and felt the repercussions. Possibly we were traumatized by the mistake someone else made and it affected us as individuals in a major way.
Since we are all perfectly imperfect, making choices and decisions will inevitably involve some mistakes. It’s a given, a certainty that no matter how old you are, until your last breath, you will be required to make decisions and that can and will inevitably involve mistakes. Hopefully, we will understand, repair learn grow and move on in the knowledge that a mistake is not the end, but the beginning.