Sometimes, the most healthy thing to do is to recognize the fallibility of humans, ensuring – of course – that we place ourselves in and amongst our fellow earthly beings. We are not perfect. I am not perfect. I am not.

And so the question then arises why this is so healthy; the exposure of our mistakes that is, especially to ourselves? I answer that this is what History (with a capital “H”) is: the written recorded messages of a thousand societies that show us present-tense humanoids that we have not gotten it right yet and, perhaps, or probably, or most likely, we never will.

But this has not really answered the question. I pivoted and spun my fervent passion for my chosen discipline in the place of a steadfast and direct answer. How is the recognition of “doing wrong” healthy? After all, life is that thing that happens when we go around thinking we are so totally right. But if you stop a moment, stop to take a look at life, one cannot help but see that it’s a series of one tragic flaw after another. There are tragedies everywhere; in space shuttle explosions, in the 1962 New York Mets, in the reality show American Idol, in the ethnic cleansing of Rwanda, in the downing of New York’s twin towers, in the tears in my daughter’s eyes because I grounded her over – gulp! – a single mistake she made.

Humans create mistakes, we manufacture them, we stumble upon them, we hold them up like neon signs (Hey, come and get your “Nationalism,” just $19.99. And if you hurry now, we’ll send you a side order of “phrenology” completely free. Tell the operator you saw this ad on “TV” and we’ll also send one entire ream of “eugenics.” That’s “nationalism, “phrenology,” and “eugenics” – a $125 value for just $19.99, plus shipping and handling), or we bury them deep (holocaust) and try never to speak of them again.

Understanding human fallibility, understanding the inevitability of our mistake-prone selves should give us comfort, should allow us to find solace in the thousands of generations that preceded us, in the thousands that will follow, that we will indeed err, and thus, the making of  mistakes is completely the norm, making mistakes is what’s right: it’s what we do.

But more important, allowing ourselves to make mistakes means simply that we can allow others, those annoying and completely idiotic others to make mistakes, too. We can begin to feel for them, we can find common ground with these people who dare to think differently than we do, we can hold something akin to empathy for that frigid, manic, nutso who insists upon their unbearable urn of righteousness (gad, how I loathe them).

In the video that I posted, Kathryn Schulz – a self proclaimed “wrongologist” – explains it better than I, certainly. I am sharing this video in recognition that in doing so I am somehow admitting not just to my errant ways, but yours as well, and want, therefore, to cohabitate with you in the constant error of our ways. I want to share with you forgiveness.

And that’s no mistake.  

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