Af­ter Mak­ing a Mis­take…

The Economic Times - - The Edit Page Chock-a-block -

Of­ten, peo­ple make a mis­take and then add to it by mak­ing yet another mis­take: by try­ing to jus­tify their mis­take. But what they should ac­tu­ally do on mak­ing a mis­take is re­flect on and seek to dis­cover why they made that mis­take in the first place. If you don’t do that and, in­stead, you seek to jus­tify your mis­take af­ter com­mit­ting it, you re­main just where you were be­fore. On the other hand, if you seek to find out why you made that mis­take, you will save your­self from re­peat­ing it.

This is a nat­u­ral fact. It is re­flected in a ha­dith, nar­rated from Ana­sibn Ma­lik, ac­cord­ing to which the Prophet said, “Ev­ery per­son com­mits sin, and the best of those who com­mit sin are those who re­pent.” (Ib­nMa­jah, ha­dith no. 4251)

The fact is that no hu­man be­ing pos­sesses to­tal knowl­edge. Be­cause of this, peo­ple of­ten adopt wrong views and opin­ions. There are of­ten er­rors in their plans. The virtue of hu­man be­ings is not that they are im­mune from mak­ing mis­takes. Rather, their virtue lies in their be­ing will­ing to ac­knowl­edge their mis­takes and to bring their ac­tions into con­form­ity with re­al­ity.

A per­son who does not ac­knowl­edge his mis­takes has to pay the price of con­tin­u­ing to re­main stuck in his wrong ap­proach. Ac­cord­ingly, he de­prives him­self of con­fi­dence, be­cause he chooses to re­main in that groove even though he recog­nises that it is wrong. More­over, his ac­tions can­not pro­duce mean­ing­ful re­sults, and his plans will fail to pro­duce the re­sults that he seeks.

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