Last week, I was walking to class when I slipped on a patch of black ice. Feet went first, straight up and out from under my hips, hands instinctively went back to catch the immediate and inevitable crash onto the hard ground.
After this epic but unfortunate everyday occurrence, what do I do? I look around to see if anyone has noticed my clumsy mishap.
Phew, I am free from embarrassment today. Quickly I get up and gather my phone, pens and paper to continue on to my destination, no one privy to my minor slip.
But moments like this are an opportunity, not an annoying setback to one’s routine. If someone had observed my slip, would there be a helping hand to offset the sting of the fall?
Everyone makes mistakes whether we like to admit it or not. As Albert Camus said, “Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.” Perfection is a lie that we all strive for. We let our success define us, but we should remember the times we slipped and fell, too.
Recently, I was working when one of my co-workers said something that resembles a colorful expression like “well ain’t that funny.” I was having a particular day where nothing seemed to go quite right. But that certain remark just made me laugh so hard, I snorted, a big loud, manly oink. My face became so red, you’d think I had recently experienced sunburn even with the subzero temperatures.
Like a chain reaction we were all laughing and enjoying the everyday imperfections.
Trying to hide mistakes is like attempting to rewrite human nature. Empathy brings people together rather than the envy that separates people from different walks of life. Try embracing the fall, empathy is a virtue worth learning twice, when you fail and succeed.
BY APRIL KNUTSON