Friday, September 20, 2013

Owning Up to Our Mistakes

Image credit: Whisper of the Heart/Facebook
Today is Friday, September 20, 2013.

"More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them."  –Harold J. Smith. 

 This quote is uniformly attributed to a fellow named Harold J. Smith, but nobody knows who he might be.  He's not an author, and he doesn't have a bio anywhere online that a person can read.  Maybe he's the same as that fellow, "Anonymous," I don't know.  Whatever.  The quote is certainly a true statement, in my humble opinion.

Actually, it's not so much that people deny making mistakes as it is that they refuse to take personal responsibility for their mistakes.  It is so much easier, they think, to just blame the situation in general, other people, the "system," the authorities, the media, the public schools, the economy, the weather, or whoever currently occupies the Oval Office in the White House.  People also blame their parents and their general upbringing, but of course their own kids' mistakes are not their fault.

When a student fails a test, it's the teacher's fault, or the test was too hard.  It never has to do with how little they studied for the test, or how much they drank at the frat party the night before.  When a businessman makes a mistake, it's the fault of a co-worker, or maybe the deadline just came too soon.  When a housewife gets dinged for not keeping the home in order, she blames the kids, who go from one room to the other creating chaos, or her husband, who never helps her.

When a person who is late for work gets stopped for speeding, it's the fault of the police, or maybe the alarm clock didn't work right this morning.  It has nothing to do with the fact that the person hit the snooze button and overslept.

The problem with blaming someone other than yourself, or blaming something outside yourself, you are giving away your power to control the situation and make changes.  When you accept responsibility, you can make changes that will hopefully create a better future.

It's your choice.  :-)

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