There is an old adage that says we learn by our mistakes, but I’m not so sure.
Should we be left to learn from the mistakes that we make, or should our older and more learned, well-meaning peers take control of our lives and save us from making any slip ups in life?
I have gone through my years trying to learn but always failing. At the age of 13 I repeatedly made the same error whilst writing, creatively or in essays. I would often place ‘of’ after ‘could’ or ‘would’ or ‘should’ instead of ‘have’. My English teacher, Mr Rich, gave me 100 lines to try and correct me. I don’t know how anybody else would write out their lines, but I counted the number of horizontal rows and wrote each word in columns until I reached 100. Each one of those 100 were, I discovered the next day, actually incorrect. I came home that evening with 500 lines and have never repeated it since.
Last week, I took my wheelchair for a walk into town. If I take a shortcut and avoid the main road, which I am told is a ‘twitten’in Sussex; it is a hazard at this particular time of year because of fallen blackberries. They drop off branches and get squished on the pavement. Anyone on feet instead of tyres will notice blackberry pips and juice on the bottom of their shoes. Because I cannot see what my tyres collect en route, I bring the detritus into my house and onto my cream carpet. NB: New Followers need to read my previous posts in order to fully appreciate the challenges of entering and exiting my abode. Therefore, it’s very difficult for me to see what is behind me or possibly on the carpet.
As I cannot perform a 90 degree turn at my front door, due to a new front door, which was replaced as a result of the damage that I had inflicted upon it previously. I need to travel straight in over said carpet, make a spin and after closing the front door, wheel into the kitchen. It wasn’t until I thought I might like to watch a bit of cricket on TV that I saw what I had done. I tried, goodness knows I tried, to remove the stains and the pips from the carpet, firstly with the vacuum cleaner. However, each time I moved it appeared there was more to deal with and a vacuum cleaner is unyielding when in a wheelchair. What I didn’t know and couldn’t see was that the blackberries were caught in the tread of my tyres and were dropping more devastation as I went. I needed help! I text Daughter No.2 and asked her if she would mind just popping in to aid me. She came and used her special rescue cleaning which involved bleach. Not a good idea on a wool carpet!
Next day my carpet man, Steve, who is known as My Saviour, told me to replace my carpet with wood floors. He has also told me frequently, to only use water when cleaning my carpet.
In this episode, my mistakes were plentiful, firstly, I knew there were squashed up blackberries along the twitten. I should have checked my tyres before entering my home. Secondly, thinking that I could cleanup on my own is foolhardy and I should know better. I also know that I should never put bleach on the carpet when I have been told not to!
So, do I learn by my own mistakes? I’ll leave you to make your own judgement.