To Err is Human

Wednesday October 2, 2019

We've all been there, haven't we? That moment when we realise we've made a terrible mistake and that the world is about to fall down!

Sometimes it's only a minor mistake, yet the consequences are horrendous.

I still remember the moment, more than thirty years ago, coming up to a roundabout and not knowing which turning to take. I looked back from the road sign to the actual road ahead and realised I was about to crash into car in front. There was no possible way I was going to stop in time.

Screeeeeech... Crunch...

That day, thank goodness, the cost was minor. Three people were shaken up a little and a few car repairs had to be made. There was nothing worse but I still have a horror of complicated roundabouts and give daily thanks to Google Maps.

Sometimes the consequences are emotional: that time we say something we wish we could take back. Or the time our error incurs a £100 fine.

I've written about self-loathing before: that spiral down into black despairing hatred, often triggered by something minor, but this is about the bigger things.

We all make mistakes.

How would you behave if someone ran into your car from behind, because they weren't looking where they were going? How do you react when someone blurts out a hurtful comment? How would you feel if you had to pay £100 because someone you trusted got it wrong?

Maybe it would depend on the attitude of the offending party.

I still remember the kindness of the man I ran into on that roundabout. He lived just around the corner and he took my passenger and me to his home where his wife gave us hot tea while he phoned the police and the recovery services (this was before the age of mobile phones, remember).

I remember the recent graciousness of a friend, when I made an ill-considered comment. She texted the same day to let me know I'd hurt her and gave me an opening to apologise and make amends.

The fine was paid by me because my dental practice inadvertently processed my treatment under the wrong schedule. I had signed where told to, and I had signed in error. Mea Culpa – I should have read more carefully. They have apologised, but they are not liable for that fine: I am.

The police were called to that road accident thirty-odd years ago. The fatherly policeman explained that I would not be prosecuting for dangerous driving. "Here in Yorkshire," he said, "We understand that anyone can make a mistake."

My friend accepted my apology and I have learned from that mistake.

The dental practice has promised to learn from their mistake and hopefully I will check more carefully before signing on the dotted line marked X.

Yes, we all make mistakes.

We forgive the mistakes of others and must forgive ourselves too for our own mistakes.

To err is human. To forgive is human too.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to leave a comment below


Comments are viewable only by members. Register Now to participate in the discussion.

Already have an account? Login to leave a comment.

There are 48 comments so far.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.