Hello again! As you know, if you’ve read my posts, not all of them have to do with real estate directly. My goal in part is to let people get to know me before they call on me. If you don’t like what I say or how I say it, then you may not want to work with me, and that’s okay. That’s exactly what I am going for here. Not everybody likes everybody.
So I was watching Youtube this morning, as I always do while having my coffee, and I saw a surprising title. I assumed the video would be quite different from what it actually was….of course. But it got me to thinking about forgiveness. Universally, that’s been on my mind quite a bit lately anyway, a message to ponder: What happened to forgiveness?
This Youtube video was about yet another person ‘resigning’ his post, because he made a mistake. Well, as you may know, my REAL job, the one I was passionate about, was science. In science, the goal is ‘truth’. And oh my goodness, can you even guess how many mistakes you make on that journey? You plan the approach you want to use to get where you think you want to go, and then you start out designing the steps, the items or chemicals you use, the timing of valve changes, the temperatures…ALL of that, and then you go. And you mess up, and you go back and figure out why and you tweak the process. And you go again. Now I’m not talking about recipe followers; I’m talking about the ones who develop processes or invent the tools you want to use. It’s a process of mistakes, restarts, more mistakes, and eventually, success. Look at that pipette in your hand. Think about how hard it was to get that right. Think about how many times the inventor had to tweak the invention process.
You know, that process often involves using the same old tired process (or tool), until you stop one day, put your hands on your hips and say, “There’s gotta be a better way.” That was the first step in my invention of a wonderful bit of lab equipment that not only made my life easier, but also saved my company a lot of money. It involved the use of ultra high purity helium. Wanna take a guess how much that costs? Well the old tired process wasted that product and I could see dollars going into the air. Ridiculous. I drew the equipment idea on a napkin the first time, and then I thought it through, made changes, etc., and it was eventually sold in the manufacturer’s catalog. But it wasn’t perfect when I drew it on the napkin. I had to start somewhere and go from there. And I didn’t demand the resignation of the first designer of that wasteful system.
The point is, nobody on this earth, or even in this universe, is perfect, folks. People goof up, and that’s normal. It’s a part of the growth process, the learning process. Yes, in some cases you don’t want to experiment. Think doctors. But still, ask me if I know of any doctors who made a mistake. Yep. Sure do. Even in life and death situations. They were not asked to resign, by the way.
Let’s think about this. You know about the Dyson vacuum products, right? Over FIVE THOUSAND failures before it was right. Now, everybody loves Dyson products. What if the inventor had given up or worse, been forced to ‘resign’. Walt Disney was fired from a job because he lacked imagination. I’m laughing at that one. What if he had been vilified? Henry Ford was bankrupted before he came up with the iconic Ford product. What happened to believing in people, even when they show their humanity? And think about this: There was no podium of shame where people announced their resignation. I’m kinda tired of seeing that. This idea of public humiliation for being human is barbaric, unintelligent behavior, and just plain stupid.
Look, this OMG YOU MADE A MISTAKE YOU’VE GOT TO RESIGN OR BE FIRED culture is just ridiculous. How did we become ultimate judges and jurors for others’ imperfections when WE are imperfect? How did this behavior become acceptable? Whom do we think we are anyway? One of the worst things one can do to another is judge them without all of the data. Why? Because you will ALWAYS view that person through the lens of YOU. I find that almost all people label others through themselves, without studying that person as THAT PERSON, with their heart, their brain, their spirit. Image someone into ‘extreme sports’ judging a librarian. Well the librarian is gonna RESIGN. Nobody else is you except you. So…stop being so harshly judgmental. You’re getting it wrong. You just are.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean we give that person permission to wreak (yes, not wreck) havoc on the world. It means we understand that success is a process. It’s going to have failures that teach us something. Here’s a good quote, I think from Henry Ford: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” Implication: You keep going.
Here’s what Maya Angelou said: “You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated.” Implication: Don’t give up and don’t take it to mean YOU are broken. Life is imperfect in and of itself; how can the players in it be perfect? We cannot. So stop acting like we can.
This idea of mistakes being the end of us has become so ingrained in our pea brains that we RUSH to the podium to resign. No, to apologize and resign. I haven’t reached the day I will apologize for being human. I’ll say I’m sorry for the mistake, but you will not see me looking downtrodden and guilty for being a human being. Yeah, there are times when something comes to light that makes a person worthy of being fired, but that’s not usually an attempt to be successful. That’s usually a character flaw on a grand scale. That’s not what I’m talking about. You can take this to the bank: If I choose to do something, anything, on purpose, you can bet your last buck that I’m doing the best I can to be successful at it. So don’t even think about coming at me. And I think that’s how most people are. I don’t know anyone who sets out to screw up. Nobody seeks to fail.
We live in an age where ‘tolerance’ is preached, screamed from the mountaintops. But that usually means YOU tolerate ME. I think that’s the death of forgiveness. It stems from rabid judgement, an activity which none of us has the right to do. So I think we should look at the Youtube video title, have our little judging reaction, and then investigate. Find out the facts, which by the way will always lead you to other sources if you are fair minded.
I remember the song/mantra, “Give peace a chance”. Well peace often involves being less harshly judgmental and looking at the whole picture, rather than the part you didn’t agree with. And forgiveness is a choice; it doesn’t always feel good and it’s definitely not instant. The forgiveness part is easy, you just choose to DO it, and then you work through the emotions while you watch to see whether or not the same behavior pops up again. If it does, that changes things. But remember Dyson failed over FIVE THOUSAND times before he made your life easier. And think about this: How can a group of people ever reach consensus if a line is drawn in the sand right away? They cannot. This type of behavior creates tribal behavior which then leads to win/lose.
Yeah, this has to do with forgiveness. Less harsh judgement. Understanding that not everyone is like you, thank God. We are unique beings, also thank God. I don’t even want to think how life would be if everybody was just like everybody else. Remember forgiving others is a choice, not a way to make you feel better. And forcing someone out if his/her job because of a mistake is throwing us back to cave times.
Settle down people! hahaha. That’s what my father used to say to us when we got rowdy: SETTLE DOWN!