Friday, December 1, 2023
Speak Your MindCutting the chain of mistakes

Cutting the chain of mistakes

Have you ever been in a situation in which you have found yourself making a series and series of mistakes in trying to cover or undo the original mistake? And you reach the point at which you realize that the last mistake that you did was even worse than the original mistake that you tried to cover or undo. Nevertheless, you decide that it is too late for you to cut the chains of mistakes and come out clean and therefore that the best option ahead is to keep on making more mistakes.

I believe that we have all been tied by a chain of mistakes at some point in our lives. The degree of damage created as result of the chain of mistakes may of course differ. Take for instance a simple situation like visiting a friend to express your condolences for the loss of her or his loved one. The moment you hear the news you promise yourself that you will do it at your earliest convenience and decide even not to call her or him beforehand because you think paying a visit is more of a thoughtful act than just giving a call. But then days go by with you immersed in your personal affairs and forgetting that you had to make that visit to your friend’s place. Days even go by without you doing the easiest thing as picking up your phone and expressing your condolences. And then weeks after the passing of your friend’s loved one you wake up and realize that you have taken too long to call or visit her or him. And the best solution you find is to avoid your friend altogether because you think that if you call her or him weeks after the event, your friend might feel unrespect and hold grudge against you. Now, what is the worse mistake that you did? Was it calling your friend weeks after the event happened or avoiding her or him altogether? You could have simply cut your chain of mistakes and reduced the damage to your relationship by calling your friend weeks after her loss and then apologizing for not calling sooner.

When I think about chains of mistakes, what come to my mind are those movies in which a person or a group of people kill an individual by mistake, and in trying to cover the killing, they end up killing more and more people who happen to have been witnesses to the original killing. And they reach the point of no return. If they had confessed their crimes to the police after the first killing, they would have had endured much less damage than if they are caught after the series of killings they have committed.

I believe that what we see among African leaders is the difficulty of cutting the chain of mistakes because the chain is simply too long and too damaging for them to cut after the chain has reached a certain length. So, they keep making mistakes after mistakes and keep torturing their brothers and sisters who happen to oppose them and stealing from the meager resources of their poor nations and hiding these away in foreign countries for the day they will finally flee their countries.  

As much as it may temporary feel good and relieving to cover or undo a mistake with another mistake, I believe that it is good to stop and try to realize that we will only do ourselves bad than good by resorting to this temporary solution. I believe it is never too late to come clean of our original mistakes!

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Contributed by Tsion Taye


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