Mistakes Are Really Only Missed Takes

No one likes to be mistaken.

We all like to think that we are always right, always true, always informed. Not in the haughty, I-know-everything  smarmy way — we just feel better when we know what we’re talking about.

But sometimes we are mistaken.

How we take being “mistaken” says a lot about ourselves. It a a reflection of our self confidence and personal strength.

Being “mistaken” may be as complicated as forgetting one of the numbers of Pi or as simple as thinking eggplant is a vegetable (it’s really a fruit), or thinking that chartreuse was pinkish purple (it’s yellow green). Just the tip of my “mistakes.”

The other day one of my readers pointed out that my picture of coleus leaves was really a picture of caladium leaves. Now, that’s a small thing, but I should have known better. I know what a coleus looks like (I own one!) and what a caladium looks like. I didn’t feel bad about my mistake — as a matter of fact I was very grateful for the clarification.

But there are those who take this kind of faux pas seriously, adding another notch to their belt of “I’m really worthless.” That sounds like an extreme reaction, but there are many on this planet who live for extreme reactions.

Don’t do it. Don’t notch.

We all are learners, every day of our lives. And being mistaken is just another skip in your record keeping. I never knew you could make art from broken pottery or band aids or toothpicks, or that if you see a horse laying down it doesn’t mean it’s dead (I used to believe that!)

I appreciate learning from my mistakes. I also appreciate people who take the time to be kind in their corrections. Most times they are helping, not condemning. 

To me, mistakes are stepping stones of self improvement. Of understanding the world around us.

It’s too bad the world can’t learn from its mistakes. What a better place it would be.




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