Mistakes

I once heard a couple sharing from their experiences - which provided effective lessons. A big difference from many other presentations was they shared their "failures" as well as their "successes" - what had not worked for them as well as what had. I've had a different view of success and failure since then. Albert Einstein said "Failure is success in progress". And of course Thomas Edison said "I've not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
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I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasaed132683.html
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/thomasaed132683.html

A couple of brothers lived in a world different from mine in more than geography - but we enjoyed the same conference (they even attended my workshop). A third brother has since become well known in NZ. I disagree with him (never met him personally) on major issues where I believe he is wrong (beyond the poor reporting that seems inevitable these days) - often dramatically so. But he has achieved much needed things in a major area relatively few have made a significant difference.

I know a lady (through involvement in the same interest). We don't always see eye to eye with her (when do I completely agree with anyone?) - but another lady we had met early on said to focus on our common ground - and to celebrate our differences. I didn't fully appreciate that until recently. A relative of hers is now a well known Kiwi. We don't always agree with him (again never met him in person) - although compared with my example above, our differences are relatively minor. He too has had a positive effect on society in some ways, although less so than the first example.

I wonder if there's a significance in that - the more people achieve, the more likely we are to disagree with them in some areas. Then again, I disagree with everyone at some stage or another. Quiet people don;t say much - so don't provoke disagreement. Both of these guys have done (and are doing) good things for NZ. It doesn't stop them from making mistakes - and the fact that they're well-known means their mistakes are also well-known. These make them easy targets for the tall poppy syndrome. People who stand out in the public eye are criticised even for the good the do. When they make a mistake, the public are quick to proclaim their errors. And so often the criticism of their errors is so loud it makes their positive results seem insignificant.

I was intrigued when one US presidential debate featured an unusual question: what did they each respect about their opponent? Given the vitriolic nature of the campaign, I was surprised they both managed to come up with something good to say. One slight positive glimmer in a sea of black.

I thought I made a mistake once - but I was wrong ????. One of my recent realisations is I'm not, as I've always maintained, a realist (as opposed to a pessimist or an optimist). I have seen it that way, but recently God asked whose reality I based that on. If you think there's only one reality, perhaps you haven't heard a dozen witnesses testify differently to the same scene. Generally they're not lying - just perceiving or remembering differently. When a car goes past, my wife may comment on the colour - whereas I usually have no idea of the colour - I'm thinking of the make, model, age, style and other less changeable factors.

So it can be with mistakes. What can seem obvious mistakes to one person may not be to another. As a person who tends to see in black and white terms, it seems I have difficulty with "colourful". Those familiar with internal / external motivations will identify that issue. I'm finally learning that rushing out with my arguments has a poor sucess rate, Much better to listen, and question before attempting to debate. It's amazing how getting our understanding to the same basis as the "opponent" can reduce the debate.

 

 

Last Modified

Last modified: 28 November 2020.