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Mistaken

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Mistaken

  

I leave my cart near the lemons and limes and walk over to ponder Trader Joe’s robust selection of dried fruits—dried passion fruit rounds are a new fave.

 

A woman, mid-fifties, coarse salt-and-pepper hair, approaches my cart and starts to wheel it away. 

 

I say, “I’ll gladly trade for the items in your cart, if you’d like.”

 

She looks up, realizes what she has done, apologizes, and scolds herself aloud with, “I really need to pay more attention to what I’m doing.” 

 

“You’re fine,” I assure her, “I made three mistakes this morning before getting out of bed.”

 

I think about how her reaction falls into the category of SHOP (Standard Human Operating Procedure). 

 

When we frame mistakes as learning opportunities, they are easier to tolerate.

 

 

 

///

 

 

 

Dr. Kathryn Schulz teaches about mistakes.

 

In her talk “On being wrong” (I’ve referenced and written about this in the past, and it bears repeating), she asks a group, “What does it feel like when you make a mistake?” 

 

All the usual answers are given. “Embarrassing.” “Stupid.” “Shameful.”

The world expert in gaffes chides, “No, that’s what it feels like when you realize you made a mistake. What it feels like when you make a mistake is nothing. It doesn’t feel like anything.”

 

The lady at Trader Joe’s didn’t feel like she was doing anything wrong when she started off with my cart.

 

When we make a mistake, we don’t realize we are making a mistake, or we wouldn’t make it,  would we? It is only afterwards, when we realize we have made the mistake, that we notice.

 

 

 

///

 

 

 

We learn from making mistakes.

And, yet, I attempt to keep from making them.

 

 

 

///

 

 

 

We need not scold a transgressor with the question “What were you thinking?!” as their answer most probably is along the lines of “I thought I was doing the right thing.”

 

 

 

///

 

 

 

Doesn’t this mean that we need to forgive more?

Yes.

Indeed it does.

You might not have known that.

But now you do.

 

💙rB 

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