Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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Learning about Life – the mistakes of dealing with mistakes

A friend of mine had asked me why i had become so reflective recently. I merely told him that it was a stage that i was going through.

Time and again it would be proper for all of us to take serious stock of what’s before us and evaluate for ourselves what we wish to do with our lives. Whether or not we are heading in the right direction. How we are dealing with the issues that arise before us.

Is it not natural to do so? For someone might have been thinking that he has been heading in the right direction only to find out that it is becoming clear that things are not turning out right. This is worse if one realises that he had been heading in the wrong direction and the cause of the situation was because of some mistakes made in the past which has only been understood recently.

As it natural for humans to err. It matters not how mistakes are made but the attitude one takes to the mistakes upon becoming aware. Often than not, repentance is greeted with love and welcome and instead recalcitrance begets an opposite response. However, that is not always true. Sometimes recalcitrance is rewarded and but realisation and repentance are used to nail the point home of past mistakes. Mistakes once realised and admitted becomes a point that used against you over and over again. It sort of reminds me of how the PAP tries to use the same mistake to assassinate an opponent’s character.

Very often, the longer a mistake takes to be discovered, the greater pain and regret a wrongdoer feels. Even though the victim would in fact have suffered greatly because of the prolonged wrong, he or she is the not only one suffering from the wrongdoing. The pain the wrongdoer feels is because of the regret for the damage done due to the delayed realisation and discovery which had allowed something to fester within the victim.

In response to another’s mistake, one can be righteous, self-righteous and overrighteous in the light of their righteousness. However, as it is, none of us are saints and would forever remain truly blameless. Even if we are, it will only be a matter of time before a mistake is made on our part. That is the time when the roles are reversed and ideally the forgiver’s actions beget forgiveness and the forgiven assume the role and take the step to forgive.

But there are times when a situation is such where even though a wrongdoer is waiting for forgiveness and the touchiness of the victim takes her towards conclusions and accusations which at times are hurting but not in all ways justified. Does one then choose to press the point? to show that it is possible for everyone to err? To raise the level of understanding of oneself and the other.

Beyond a certain limit of attempting to elucidate the issues and sort things out which often leads to choppy waters. There will come a time where one has to decide unload the weapons, to call off the expedition, sound the bosun and lower the colours. Let the wrong pass. Let the accusation go unrebutted. This i have come to understand to be a severe test of character.

In this life, i have always had a strong issue with being wrongly accused. That experience now led me onto this path.

The path of law, engagement with the law, and steps in opposition to the law will reach full blown. But these are the visible engagements of fighting injustice.

For the less visible engagements relating to justice, it is also murkier and far more difficult to distinguish who’s right and who’s wrong, what’s right and what’s wrong, how right and how wrong, and why right and why wrong.

Perhaps the time has come for me to understand how to let go. To learn to cease defending every issue, to stop fighting every cause, to learn how to let the incoming wrongs go pass.

It is truly correct to say that “To err is human, but to forgive is divine.” The very act of forgiving calls upon our divine qualities becomes even more difficult when one perceives that forgiveness may not be that forthcoming from others. But does it then stop one from trying to learn how to forgive others, when others have yet to forgive him?

I re-learnt one lesson which i had used to teach some other close friends the wisdom of dealing with life and relationships. Something which i had strangely forgotten given and despite of the advancement of years with the enrichment of experience. That is, when push comes to shove and when it all comes to pass, the murky waters of the criss-crossing intersections of rights and wrongs and the matrix of cause and effect on the situation at hand, there would only be one way to get out of the rut.

Practice the forgiveness first.

For to be able to forgive others, you would in essence be forgiving yourself. For that will remove the anger, pain and hurt that is gnawing at you and may untwine the complex issues which have locked things in the state and release you from the anger and the fear that comes your own wrong as well as another’s wrong.

What’s important is to learn the lessons from the mistakes of life and to move on forward. Clinging on to the past in the mind will inevitably lead to clinging on to the past in life. Clinging to a mistake will lead to even more mistakes being made.

One mistake many often make is becoming aware of someone else’s mistake and losing sight of their own. Not allowing the forgiveness the chance to grow. That itself would be the greatest mistake of all.


December 20, 2008 - Posted by | Life

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