To err is human — to forgive and understand is, too

It just so happens I have been thinking about mistakes lately.

To be fair, I am quite good at making mistakes even though I do not set out to..

A lapse in concentration, not thinking about the consequences of what I am about to do, expecting something will work this time even though it hasn’t before, being in a hurry, all contribute to me mucking up.

I define a mistake as something we do that is wrong, forget to do, or did not turn out like we intended.

It could also be an error of judgement.

It was a mistake not to put my glasses on before applying my lipstick.

Not checking the backdoor step for black ice landed me face down on the lawn.People being people make mistakes all the time.

However, mistake-making is an essential part of human development.

Toddlers make heaps of mistakes when learning how to walk, except that kind of mistake is not labelled as such.

When a little one overbalances and falls, those watching do not scold and tell the child they should know better. Instead they encourage the child to have another go.

I watched a video once that discussed how we respond more graciously to the misbehaviour of children than we do adults.

It concluded by recommending that when someone behaves in a way that is unbecoming, treat them with the same graciousness you would a child.

That does not mean you talk down to the person. It means you respond with compassion and a willingness to understand what made them behave that way.

I think the same advice could be applied when people make mistakes.

Now I am not suggesting we holus bolus accept mistakes with no consequences. We need to be accountable for our actions.

However, most of us are doing the best we can with the resources we have but sometimes, despite our best attempts, we goof.

If we respond to others with compassion when they muck up, hopefully they will do the same for us.

None of us are perfect.