We like to be right. We like to be smart. We like to be cool. We like to have everything under control. We like it so much we often forget: it’s okay to be human.
It’s Okay to Be Wrong
Tristan, my middle son, has been fascinated with Assembler lately. It’s one of the first programming languages ever created and it’s archaic and complex. What takes one line of code in a modern language can take a page worth of code in Assembler.
Every day we talk and he tells me what he’s learned and asks me questions. As much as I love coding and working with computers, I know little about Assembler. I do my best to explain things to him and fill in the gaps.
At the same time I often tell him “I don’t know” or “I think that’s how it is, but you should look that up.” Sometimes we look it up, and I’m way off. Other times I’m close, but not quite correct.
That’s okay. It’s okay to be human. It’s okay to say “I don’t know.” We don’t have to know everything.
And it’s okay to be wrong. When we find out we’re wrong it’s okay just to admit it. “I was wrong”. There’s nothing wrong with being imperfect.
It’s Okay to Have Flaws
After all, we all have flaws. The other day my oldest son, Joseph, asked me to look over a script for him for a TV pilot he wrote. It was an awesome script full of aliens, intrigue, and adventure.
I had taken some notes and was sharing them with him. He had a really strong script and his script writing has really sharpened over the years. I mostly just had tweaks for him, but we also talked about character arcs, tension and resolution, and other things that make a story compelling.
As I was telling him about a couple things, he pointed out how he had already dealt with those and showed me the pages. Sure enough, he had done exactly what I thought he should.
It was at this point that I apologized, and pointed to my focus issues. For as long as I can recall, I’ve struggled with reading because I struggle with focus. Although I caught most everything in the script, I missed a couple key things.
But, it’s okay to be human. It’s okay to have flaws. I simply told Joseph he was right, explained my focus issues with him, and told him how strong his writing was. It was a lot different from an interaction I had with his brother.
It’s Okay to Say Sorry
It was about a couple weeks ago that my youngest son, Evan, and I had a conflict as I was driving him to his mother’s. There was a misunderstanding between what I said and what he heard. He got angry and then I got angry and the conversation devolved and then ended.
Music was turned on and yet it felt like there was 15 minutes of silence. Just before we reached his mother’s house, he apologized. He realized what had happened and that he misunderstood. I accepted his apology, and apologized for getting upset.
I parked in the driveway, we got out, and we gave each other a hug.
As much as we need to work to be kind, it’s okay to be human. And when we make a mistake, it’s okay to say sorry (as long as we make sure it’s the right type of sorry).
You don’t have to beat yourself up for being human. It’s okay. It’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to have flaws. It’s okay to say sorry. It’s okay to be human. Just do what’s right as best you can, and fix it when you mess up. That’s the best we can do.