By: Courtney Kidd, LMSW SJS Staff Writer Do what I say, not what I do. It is an endless phrase heard by children all around the world from well-meaning parents. Or perhaps lazy ones. This saying is one of many that tries to prevent someone from making the same mistakes we did. It is our hope, that somehow, we might save an individual from having them go through it themselves. Apart from highly dangerous things, I believe that mistakes are a better learning tool than any lecture can provide. What we learn through mistakes are learned for good, and they are learned quickly.
Recently MSN featured a post about the 16 mistakes only made once. Accompanying the post, pictures showed some doozies of pictures provided by the individual, we saw the learning process involved for; leaving your car window open in a blizzard, cannon-balling into a frozen pool, taking the tsp of cinnamon challenge, among a variety of other “duh” moments. We learn this in our professions as well.
Countless social workers have told me a few mistakes involving “oh is this your daughter?” “No, that’s my wife” moments that have made them want to crawl into the nearest hole, but in turn, have taught them a valuable lesson in assuming. Every day I run the risk of making some mistake that I’ll have to deal with, but the one positive thing is that I will rarely make the same mistake twice. The truth is, once you stop making ANY mistakes, you’re probably dead.
Share some of your learning experiences with us. Maybe we can prevent that embarrassing moment for someone else. As we learned growing up, sometimes all you can do is say “Did I do that?”
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