The Mistake of Mistaking Mistakes

I saw this great commercial about a car. Inspiration comes from weird places.

Partnership from Non-Partners
I love this commercial because it breaks a stereotype I have seen time and time again from people I interact with. That perception is that divorced people can’t get along. They can’t work together. It’s sometimes the view that they can’t even make good choices.

But as someone who is divorced and get’s beyond past hurts for my kids, and as someone who has seen countless other people do this, I can definitely relate to this commercial. Here are two good people who couldn’t figure out how to make their relationship work, turning around and making life work for their son. It fits more of what I know about divorced people than all the preconceived notions I’ve seen over the course of my life.

The J Word
Sometimes we want to judge others’ present on their past. We decide a) we know better the choices they they should make and b) what their value is based on their past.

I can’t tell you how much I have seen people judge others based on the fact they are divorced. Why? That decision, right or wrong, is already made. The only thing judgement will do is make it harder for that person in the present and the future.

A More Productive Approach
But there is a different view of life. There is a view that despite how messy life gets, you matter. There is a view that no matter how right or wrong your decisions are, you matter. There is a view that you have the potential for great things no matter where you came from.

If you’ve messed up, you matter. If you have wrong ideas, you matter. And that also means that others matter too.

Instead of shunning people we disagree with – people like us who have made mistakes – why not encourage them? They may still make mistakes, but they are more prone to make mistakes when mistakes are what is expected of them. They are more prone to success, when success is expected of them.

Mistakes are in the past. Life is in the present. Hope is in the future. Let’s choose hope and find out how best we can make the most of our present.

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About the author

David is a father, speaker, blogger (obviously), and author of How to Create Amazing Presentations sharing the tools, tips, and techniques of the experts to make you an amazing presenter, 7 Steps to Better Relationships built on the stories and lessons on this blog with seven easy steps to help you maximize your interactions with the people you care about most, and The Man in the Pit to help you care for loved ones struggling with depression.

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