What Were You Thinking?

There’s nothing bad or wrong about making a mistake. It’s refusing to think that’s unhealthy and wrong. All any of us can do is act to the best of our knowledge. This is not excuse-making; it’s simply a fact. If you use this fact as a way to rationalize away responsibility for an error, then, by so doing, you’re refusing to think. The only time you’re in the wrong is when you refuse to think. There’s no shame in error. When you discover an error, even a big one, you can credibly say: “This was my mistaken premise. My error came from that.” Or: “This was the fact I was not aware of. This fact changes everything. I didn’t know it at the time, so my conclusion was wrong.” In the aftermath of an error, a healthy and honest person can always answer the question, “What were you thinking?” When the answer honestly is, “I wasn’t thinking,” then that’s the time to feel ashamed — for yourself.