By Diego Nascimento

I have been thinking for some time about a treacherous phrase that has become commonplace in our daily lives: “To err is human.” But to what extent is such an affirmation an eventuality or becomes a constant in the responsibilities we assume? How often does “humanity” or the simple fact of being flesh and blood endorse the slips we commit? I assure you, reading this short passage, brought to mind some recent facts where you acted as the main character. And to share this feeling, I’ll tell you what happened to me.

Two weeks ago I accepted to participate in an event where I would speak about the Bible (I have a habit of studying the Holy Scriptures). As usual, I marked the date, time and place on my electronic agenda, and I prepared the material in advance. I even invited family members to go with me, and I calmly drove down the road to my destination. Arriving there I noticed the place was full, and I was impressed with the commitment of the community. At the same time I noticed that the leader, who had given the invitation fifteen days before, was also there. It was a mixture of curiosity and an awareness of something out of place, because it was due to his absence that my presence would be required on this date.  To my amazement I was, in fact, expected to teach that night. The only difference was in the address:  in a small lapse I marked down this place on my agenda when, in fact, I should have been 20 Km from where I had parked my car. A real tragedy.

I must say that such situations are unjustifiable. My fault caused discomfort and brought moments of deep concern to the group that was certainly waiting for me in another city. In the search for a guilty party (myself) I had only one option for future forgiveness. After sending some messages I was partially encouraged to learn that a member of the other community had “taken over” in my place. I promptly manifested my vow of praise for proactivity and repeated my regret for all the confusion. Although I understand that we are not robotized beings, programmed to follow a sequence of codes, it is fundamental to understand that there are limits even for misunderstandings. The lack of awareness that we should minimize failures has resulted in the suffering of individuals, families, companies and even countries around the world.

I recently read about a man who even in old age has been the target of numerous accusations of crimes committed throughout his life. Apparently, he made mistakes a first, the second …. a twentieth time and because of the fallibility that we have already discussed, he chose to fall into the trap of self-indulgence and make the mistakes a habit. The most regrettable thing is that we do not stand alone in the consequences of our mistakes and people from the environment end up receiving “shrapnel” from our tumbles.

In my case we noticed a clear conference failure. Even though it was the first time this happened, my efforts to keep it from repeating have been redoubled. We do not live by ourselves. Great opportunities bring great responsibilities. How about we make an evaluation of the reasons for our slips and devise strategies to make our walk more firm and safe? I am absolutely sure that a lot of things will change … and for the better!

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