Friday, 20 May 2011
The Art Of Being Wrong
I loved my Dad, but there was one thing about him that really drove me mad. He could never concede when he was wrong, or admit to any error. This is a fault that I vowed never to replicate. Generally speaking I think I do ok; I'm aware of my capacity to misjudge and can be prone to occasional sloppiness. Knowledge of this is the best defense I have. Today one particular error was pointed out to me, or rather a couple of minor errors which when combined had resulted in undue inconvenience to somebody I was seeking to help. Oddly, the person pointing out my mistake seemed almost embarrassed to be doing so. There was no need. It was as clear as day. I knew what I'd done, and more importantly I understood the cause. It had been mental exhaustion, the constant maniacal intensity of the day in question. In the end I did what I always do. Acknowledge, apologize, and resolve to do better. I'm apt to think that this is a sound response under most circumstances. I don't pretend to be perfect, but when I am wrong the reasons for it are always genuine. I suspect people who know me know that. For this reason, I choose not to be too hard on myself. No point dissolving into a pool of self loathing. If you're wrong you're probably better to just look it in the eye. I think this makes it easier for people trying to manage me. No second guessing required. It's funny what we take from our parents, isn't it? We can often vow what we won't be like, and I wonder whether sometimes we swing too far this way? What about all the things my Dad did well? What about his work ethic? His gentle nature? His willingness to help at the drop of a hat? These are qualities I aspire to but seldom give him any credit for. Perhaps I'd do well to reflect on that, too?