Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

I’m Sorry—My Mistake

napoleon-bonaparte-leader-in-politics-never-retreat-never-retract-never-admit-a

Have you noticed that no one wants to take responsibility for mistakes or even for simply not knowing everything?  Recently, my husband spent four hours on the telephone with an insurance company that had mistakenly terminated his policy.  He was, in fact, paid and qualified.  He was required to send in quantities of documentation to prove he was telling the truth, in spite of the fact that he had done absolutely nothing to deserve grief.  We both know he may yet have to accept the “blame” and pay a penalty.  Why?  Because no one can be wrong.

One of the off-shoots of mean-spirited evaluations and runaway legal liability is that employees are afraid to admit when they’re wrong or don’t know.  Although we all realize we’re human and can’t be right all the time, we have to pretend we are in self-defense.  Attorneys promise exorbitant rewards for lawsuits, regardless of whether they’re fair.  Companies pretend to be shocked when they’re forced to confess they knew they were selling bad products.

I have a friend who has a serious but rare illness.  I was surprised when he confided that his greatest frustration isn’t the fact that his illness will probably kill him.  Instead, he says he just wishes his doctors could tell him they don’t know what to do.  He wishes they could apologize for experimenting on him.

Admitting weakness or failure is never easy.  We’d like to be infallible.  We’d like our leaders and institutions such as medicine and education and law enforcement to be infallible.  My dad once scolded a friend of mine who was a police officer, “We pay you to be honest!”  Of course.  We pay all our public and private employees to be honest.  But they’re human and, inevitably, a percentage of them are not entirely ethical people.  “They” are like the rest of us.  They have weak spots.

We stray from the straight and narrow—sometimes without realizing we’ve indulged our baser natures.  Have you ever disappointed yourself?  I have.  But we’re human.  We make mistakes.  The magic lies in learning and growing from the experience.  Perhaps if we placed a higher value on being authentic and caring and less on profit and productivity, we’d have the luxury of making a habit of being honest when we’re wrong.  Perhaps we could enjoy better products and services, better relationships with those around us, a kinder, gentler life.  Perhaps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Personal Journeys with Gramma on WordPress.com

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 223 other followers

chelodiazludden

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Fragments du quotidien

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Zigzagging Toward Zen

It's not about arriving... it's about enjoying the trip.

Be Like Water

Music, Film and Life

Eli Glasman

Site of author Eli Glasman

Tom Puetz

Coming Home is the Hardest part of War

catherinecarrigan.com/

Medical Intuitive Healer

Write Your Best Seller In A Weekend

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Tom Bird, Best-Selling Writer & Author Whisperer

“Even Stephen King could learn something about writing from Tom.” Jean Marie Stine, author and former Editor-in-Chief of Tarcher Books

%d bloggers like this: