Sunday, June 6, 2010


This is one of those conversational blog posts that's meant to generate a little discussion in the comment section. Tell me what ya think.

I believe that mistakes are a bad thing. this might seem like a rather normal viewpoint at first, but then you start to listen to other people and hear them saying something else. "There are no mistakes, just learning experiences", "Wisdom is learning from your mistakes", "A man's errors are his portals of discovery", "Only people who try make mistakes". 

So what exactly are these people saying?

Sure, making a mistake isn't the end of the world. Aristotle defined a mistake as "injury in transactions between man and man...done in ignorance...when the person acted on, the act, the instrument, or the end that will be attained is other than the agent supposed." It's a pardonable offense, and usually not too big of a deal. You aren't really responsible for the action.

Learning from your own mistakes is a very smart thing to do. If you burn yourself once on a hot stove it's a good idea to not touch the hot stove again. That is how small children learn to function in the world around them. When people around us fall into error, whether they have a good excuse or not, it is so easy to throw out an insipid platitude and call it good. As Oscar Wilde says, "Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes."

But we are trying to be adults, aren't we? Adults don't just learn from their own mistakes, they learn from the mistakes of others. That is a much better definition of wisdom, to my mind. Sure, making errors has lead to some great discoveries, and maybe it has helped some people to know themselves better or led them to wonderful places. But danger lies in lackadaisically meandering through life not paying attention to your actions, or blundering through at top speed and not concerning yourself with the consequences. 

It is so important that we try to be the best we can be. Don't beat yourself up over the past, but never assume that whatever you do, it's bound to turn up all right in the end. Look around you, see what's going wrong in everyone else's life and try to act in a contrary manner, hopefully avoiding much of the pain of this world. There is little glory in falling flat on your face right after seeing someone in front of you trip over the same stumbling block. Don't think that you have to "learn it for yourself" and "make your own mistakes." It only leads to unnecessary heartbreak.

Your thoughts? 

72/365 - And Your Point Is?, originally uploaded by helgasms!.

1 comment:

  1. Totally agree!

    Btw your blog is great! I'm a follower!

    Mine is
    Hope you like it and share the love by following me too! ;)


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