Learning From Mistakes

Monday 12 August 2019

I've had this drafted for a while. Since it's Eid (Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha!) and it's the season of forgiveness, I thought I'd release this post. It's just a short snippet of my thoughts about making mistake. I know it sort of ends abruptly, but my mind kind of decided to think about something else while I was typing. Tell me that happens to everyone?

I've had my fair share of mistakes. I've been the villain in someone else's movie. I've made bad decisions after bad decisions (had bubble tea three days in a row now and I'm feeling awful about it). Like anybody else, I have tons of regrets... but you can't deny the lessons they teach. There is no lesson greater than from your own mistakes and failures that I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I hadn't made any. If everything was just clear blue skies and not a dark cloud over my head... would I have learnt how to pick myself up, take my shattered heart and put it back together? Would I be strong enough to deal with pain, humiliation and self-doubt, and still move forward? Would I be judgmental of others who continuously make mistakes?

I feel like... when I was younger... it was easier to judge someone who was in the wrong. We were little and everything was simple. But growing up, you begin to realize that you can never really know why people do the things they do. Every decision was based on a sequence of events that led up to the day the decision was made. They carry stories of their own... that you do not have purview of. Sometimes we hear people (even ourselves!) judge others' choices or actions when we know absolutely nothing that's going on in their minds or their hearts. Everyone goes through tests and hardships that are not more than what he/she can bear. If He never put you through such tests, maybe your choices and actions would have been far worse. "Have you ever thought about that?"--is what I ask myself when I feel like I'm about to question someone's choices.

And while everyone is responsible and accountable for our own mistakes, it does not define us. It does not define who we were, who we are and who we're going to be. What matters is your response after the storm and what lesson you're going to take from it. 

Do you realize that our mistakes have also made us more understanding of others? I think that's the best power one can have. When you try to understand other people, you become more emphatic and less judgmental. You're less likely to be upset by what they choose to do. You're likely to be more aware of the words you choose when you speak to them (or when it's your friend and he/she has come to you looking for advice). I hope our mistakes has made us better people in this aspect. You really do start to walk in other peoples' shoes and it's truly humbling. 

Anyway, in the spirit of forgiveness and forgiving, I think I've said this before, but don't forget to forgive ourselves for our past mistakes. To err is human--a lot of people forget that. I'd also like to take the opportunity to apologize for all my wrongdoings, whether on purpose or not, and may we all be better versions of ourselves every single day. Have a blessed Eid, everyone.


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