As we make our imperfect journey through life as human beings, most of us try our best most of the time. Even so, we make mistakes.
Some mistakes can be huge. Fortunately, most of the mistakes that we make tend to be small and not of great consequence to the well-being of ourselves or others. The fact that you make a mistakes says that you are human. The way that you handle a mistake says something about the type of human that you are.
First of all, it is important to try to eliminate those mistakes made by carelessness, negligence, or ignorance of the knowledge that could help you avoid those mistakes. But please recognize that there are whole categories of mistakes that are made by overextending ourselves in the service of others, taking reasonable risks that don’t work out, and making the wrong choice among equally plausible choices (this can be mitigated somewhat if you have a GPS).
Making a well-intentioned mistake is one of the hallmarks of being human. A corollary to this the importance of owning up to a mistake that you’ve made. Secure human beings don’t have the need to rationalize their behaviors rather than admitting to their mistakes. They don’t seek to blame others, and they don’t rewrite history to justify their behaviors.
In cases where the intent is harmless and/or the harm is minimal, being a member of the human race is the only justification that you need for your behavior. And the only response that you need is to say that you are sorry.
So many people have difficulty admitting fault and saying that they are sorry that it almost appears that the word “sorry” should be spelled with one r so that it can be considered a 4-letter word.
Don’t be afraid to use the word “sorry” at appropriate times. It won’t diminish your worth as a human being. It will enhance it.
And if you’ve been wronged by someone in a non-egregious way, be prepared to accept an apology rather than responding by humiliating or shunning or, in some other way, making the person feel less human than s/he is and deserves to be. You will want to be treated courteously by others when you make the next mistake that you are sure to make.