Daily Prompt: Mistake

via Daily Prompt: Mistake

When I was in high school, we had to use slide rules, because mainstream calculators hadn’t been invented yet.   First, you had to know how to use the thing, but the worst part was trying to read the answer.  Back in those days, failure to read your slide rule correctly for the answer counted as a mistake.  I dreaded those science classes because of that damn slide rule, because inevitably, I would lose points on my tests for mistakenly reading the answer.

Back in those days in the early 70s, people did not coddle you for your mistakes.  You got points off your test, you were disciplined for your mistakes.  No one was concerned about your self esteem. You made a mistake and you paid for it in one way or another.  Now, young people are not held accountable for their mistakes.  They are not disciplined, but rather asked to explain what they learned from making their mistakes and encouraged to do better next time.  In fact, I’m not sure the “m-word” is used anymore.  Now, you have an error in your judgement, but never a mistake.  You are not held accountable for your mistakes.

I see this today in our college athletes.  They are in possession of a gun without a license, they are caught smoking dope, they took money that is prohibited, they make mistakes.  But college sports being what they are, these players are not held accountable for their mistakes.  They still play in the games, they are defended by their coaches, they are required to do extra community services.  But they don’t usually pay for their mistakes. Some will go on to play professional sports where they will make even more mistakes, sometimes very serious mistakes and when they are made to pay reparations or spend time in jail, they will whine about how unfair it is.  Why?  Because they were never held accountable for their early mistakes.  They never lost points for the mistake on a test that required you to read your slide rule correctly or fail to interpret the answer on the device of today.

While I was struggling to read my slide rule, I didn’t know there would come a day when there would not be mistakes, only “learning experiences”.








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