Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Al Franken says this:

- Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way…… unless it's a fatal mistake, which at least, others can learn from.

Is there a person alive who hasn’t made mistakes in his or her life? The answer to that is of course a resounding NO! Yet I’ve seen people ‘fear’ them and only a few welcome them as a necessary ‘discomfort’ in life. It must be the embarrassment of having committed a mistake or several of them which leads to being branded ‘stupid’ or a ‘fool’. And in some cases be branded as a ‘never do anything right’ kind of person. With this frame of mind, people tend to regard you with a tinge of suspicion or mistrust. This makes life even harder than it should be.

An old aunt of mine long ago would always warn her kid “Now don’t you ever make a mistake….or else!” Gosh, that’s a lot of pressure on the child. Therefore it won’t be any surprise at all if this kid grows up with the idea stuck to his brain that mistakes or blunders would have dire consequences or punishment to it. I think though that this is rather the harsh discipline style of some parents, at least those of whom I know.

In a way there is truth to that statement – mistakes have consequences to it. But we must be gentle in teaching this to the very young impressionable minds of our children. We mustn’t plant the seed of fear or self-doubt early in their childhood as this will certainly entrench itself in the psyche of the child further as he steadily grows and develops into adulthood. If allowed to thrive and fester in the mind and heart of that person, this will undeniably cripple him from being the good person he was ever meant to be in life.

When we must speak of mistakes to our young, we must draw a positive image of it. Let me quote Richard Needham:

- Strong people make as many mistakes as weak people. Difference is that strong people admit their mistakes, laugh at them -- learn from them. That is how they become strong.

This is how we should focus our teaching on – becoming strong. Everybody makes mistakes. I made mine. I know that those mistakes took out a big slice of me and that I can never have it back or restored again. But I know too that it opened up my eyes to things I never understood before, made me see the truth in its true light, and helped me see my own limitations, boundaries, and weaknesses. Also understanding mine helped me understand those of others, too. Most importantly, it humbled me in my soaring thoughts of myself, my ambitions, and my dreams. It brought back my flighty feet on solid ground when I was soaring ecstatically high up in the air. It was like a pin which pricked my balloon of ego and pride. My mistakes gave me new understanding of myself – of what I cannot be and of what I can positively become. My understanding of life grew and expanded to embrace new truths and principles which then helped me cope better with life and people and experiences. I learned to see life in a much better light and perspective and became a stronger person.

And last but certainly not the least is this wonderful speech of Theodore Roosevelt given in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1910, to wit:

- It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

So..... Yes, we need mistakes just as much as we need to succeed in life… but just as long as we don’t do the same ones repeatedly?! Because that would of course be a another story… Lolz :-))

posted on Friday, August 11, 2006 12:21 PM

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