A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. -George Bernard Shaw
GBS, Mr. Hell-Yes-to-Eugenics, was a douche on an epic scale. This quote, however, resonates with me. One of my students submitted it today on his daily thought card, and it touched me.
I’m a perfectionist who is nearly paralyzed by mistakes (or the fear of making mistakes). I find it hard to even open email when I know there’s a chance something I’ve fucked up will be brought to bear. It’s a problem I’ve been working on correcting for a very long time.
When I was a child, around five, my grandmother tried to teach me how to tie my shoes. We sat side by side at the kitchen table. She showed me how to pinch the laces, spin the end across, and make the bow. However, when I couldn’t do it right, she picked up one of the shoes and beat me in the head with it. It’s a sad memory for me because I ended up, many years later, truly loving my grandmother. Yet it’s an experience that shaped my petrification when faced with mistakes.
I’m worried someone’s going to hurt me.
To this day, I don’t know how to tie shoelaces.
So this is a good quote for me to think of (though I don’t forgive GBS his mistakes). A life of mistakes is better than having done nothing at all. I’m thankful I’m (mostly) able to get out from under those mistakes and live my life. It’s certainly a life worth living, mistakes or no.
P.S. Just kidding. I know how to tie my shoes. The rest of the post is true, though.