Making Mistakes

The Peaceful and Just revison page #154

Yesterday at the bar I spoke to Bill about cell phones, and how everyone is buried in them and no one seems to notice anymore. He joked that there would soon be a little warning light reminding the phone’s owner to breathe. Across the internet there is a growing idea that human beings will become obsolete, sitting on couches watching virtual reality, while machines and robots take care of business.

I think that would be such a boring world. Machines don’t make mistakes. If everything was done perfectly every time, the same way every time, what sort of variety would there be in life?

There is such stigma attached to making mistakes. Society is so competitive now, and judgemental. If I write something wrong in a blog, someone will call me out on it. If I order something wrong at the bar, someone will be right there, ready to criticize. If I do something wrong at softball practice, a little group of people will go off in their own little world and start picking my actions apart.

Does that sound paranoid? Or does it sound familiar? We have instant access to everything now, and with that comes the right to pass judgement. In school and at work we are not allowed to make mistakes, for fear that someone else will pass us up on the ladder to . . . what? A constant lifetime of work that we hate? We have been trained to believe that we need to be perfect to be happy, and that is such a pile of bullshit.

I’m not perfect. Neither is anyone else. And those imperfections are what make us human, and make life interesting. I don’t want to live in a world where everything goes exactly the same way every time. I’m going to keep trying to do new things. I’m going to keep making mistakes, and trying to learn from them. I hope all of the rest of you do too. I’ll forgive you if you forgive me. That’s what it means to be human.

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