The Advantages of Mistakes

On Saturday, February 12th 2017 Harriet and her husband Mike were driving to attend their neighbors’ daughter’s wedding at Elelenwo town when they met Harriet’s childhood friend and class mates Aleruchi. Twenty five years had passed since they left secondary school and went their separate ways but as the saying goes, “old firewood never dies”.. Harriet recognized Aleruchi and asked Mike to pull over. They hugged and greeted each other admist shouting and laughter.. for 25years they had not seen each other. Aleruchi was with one of her daughters named Nkem. Nkem’s beauty quickly caught the eyes of her mother’s friend who quickly asked who nkem was. Aleruchi replied, my third daughter. Third? Harriet exclaimed.. meaning you have two bigger ones? Yeah, Aleruchi replied, the first one is getting married soon, and I will soon be a grandma.. To cut the story short, Harriet never recovered from that brief encounter with her secondary school mate. Harriet and Aleruchi were both having boyfriends in their Class five days. Harriet got pregnant as an undergraduate in the university and because she didn’t want to soil her reputation she did an abortion.
Little did she know that the abortion will give rise to complications that will make her unable to bear children. She kept her reputation but lost her ability to conceive and bear children. She got her degrees, a good job, got married, made her parents very proud but till now, she has not been able to make her self happy.
Series of tests and treatments have not helped and her 17 years marriage is still without a child. Age is telling on her and she cannot forgive her self of that one MISTAKE. No one likes to make mistakes.
Mistakes are the wrong moves we make. Wrong steps we take. Wrong decisions we make. Wrong reactions we express. Wrong investments, wrong relationships, wrong this wrong that, wrong wrong wrong…. To the point that when the word mistake is mentioned now, we never think any good thing out of it.

Most mistakes do not look like mistakes from the start. It always looked right until one or two details are misplaced and the whole thing turns out to be a mistake.
Honestly, no one is above making mistakes. As long as you are alive, as long as you move around and do things, as long you try to be productive, you must encounter mistakes.
Sometimes what you see as a mistake may not be a mistake after all. It may be because of your perception of life. So mistakes are not universal. For example, a Christian young lady can see pregnancy before marriage as a mistake and the one who is not a Christian can see it as a sign that she is fertile.
Still on this example, some early pregnancy incidences that were condemned as mistake by families were later judged as blessings in disguise because of how the situation turned out in future. At least I know one of such situations that is too real to be true but I am not at liberty to share.

Some mistakes are fatal though. Imagine a Doctor’s prescription for someone else mistakenly given to another patient. Such mistakes can lead to death or permanent health damage and untold hardship for the patients and their families. So apart from such fatal mistakes, most mistakes are costly but they are not completely bad.
A name wrongly spelt on a certificate is not fatal but costly. So is a delivery order sent to the wrong destination. But don’t enter a vehicle going to the wrong There is a thin line between a mistake and incompetence. If lack of basic knowledge is the cause of the mistake then it’s not a mistake, it’s an error caused by incompetence. People should not make the mistake of hiring incompetent people. Heads of organizations should beware of delegating functions to staff whose skills and experience is not compliant with the given task.
That said, I go back to the issue of mistakes.. mistakes may be bad at first but the experience will always be very vital tomorrow. Atleast if it doesn’t benefit the person in question, it can benefit others. In most cases, mistakes lead us to learning new things. But because we think mistake means bad, we don’t learn the lessons instead we are filled with regrets. Feeling of regret is a mere emotional feeling except we learn the lessons that are embedded in it.