Swami ji said…
Mistakes are bound to occur. It appears as though they are just waiting to be made by us – unknowingly , accidentally or deliberately – at the spur of the moment. They spare none. Mistakes have been made by – ‘The Infallible One’ too. So, then, how can – we, the fallible ones – not err ? The way we are – nowhere close to perfection ; lost in the allure of temptation – it doesn’t take us too long to make mistakes – and although, we too, can see the negative consequences of our mistakes – as they are visible to us – we find it difficult to put a stop to them. It becomes essential for us to accept that we are making repeated mistakes and , if , so how do we plan to stop ourselves from doing so in future ?
A mistake is made by us when we do something,
unintentionally – which has unfavourable consequences.
And, yes, such unintended mistakes are made – by all of us. Sometimes at work ; sometimes while interacting with friends and family. But, what when we start making the same mistake one time too many ? Are those mistakes – truly mistakes , if , they are made time and time again by us ? Surely, it means, that we have not learnt from them if we are still making them repeatedly. And if we aren’t consciously making the effort to not repeat our mistakes, it is quite possible, that we are not truly bothered by these mistakes and their consequences.
If we forget to do something that causes inconvenience to others ; hurts or offends others – then, it can be passed off as a mistake the first time; but, doing it repeatedly, only displays our lack of empathy towards others, and, a disregard for their well-being. Many times we feign ignorance and forgetfulness for making the same mistake ; but , in reality, we do not want to make the effort to change; and , are too lethargic – mentally, and physically, to go through a process of change in our behaviour.
The magnitude of our ‘mistakes’ and their ‘consequences’ also impact our reaction to them. The smaller they are – the more likely we are to repeat them. Infact, the mistakes that we make on a personal level – by wasting time ; not preparing in advance for the next day ; misplacing things – are laughed off by us as just carelessness – as we have learnt to live by making these ‘mistakes’ everyday.
Making a mistake once – can be called a mistake, but, making the same mistake repeatedly – can no longer be called a mistake, but, rather – a ‘decision’ taken by us – to repeat the mistake again. Why we do this – could only be known to us. Small mistakes committed again and again – further deepen the possibility of making incorrect, wrong , poor decisions. It is natural that we might lie in order to save our skin – but on seeing the ease with which we were able to get out of a ‘situation’ by lying – we could take shelter in untruth and dishonesty regularly. It is then that we ‘decide’ to lie in the future too. We must learn to distinguish between making a mistake ‘unintentionally’ – and our ‘decision’ to make a mistake. One might take a ‘bribe’ – the first time – maybe, to meet the expenditure of an unexpected medical emergency – but, if , he continues to do that in the future to maintain a lavish lifestyle – then it is obvious that he has made up his mind – decided – to become corrupt.It is certainly not difficult for us to recognise the life affecting difference between the two.
The true challenge would be to overcome them successfully. How can we stop ourselves from making mistakes over and over again ? Because, after all, repetition of mistakes, too , might lead us to do something very wrong – which would amount to bad ‘karma’.
When we make a regular ‘mistake’ and are called out for it – we often respond with anger and agitation. This is a sign of our guilt, and, our anger is only an attempt of the ego to cover up for this guilt. We should, however, be grateful to those, who call out, on seeing such behaviour from us. We must reflect immediately and try to understand as to why are we doing something repeatedly that bothers others. And why do we remain unaffected – not bothered at all as to why people are checking us ? Are we simply too lazy to change ourselves ? Or is it because we do we not want to change ? Is this so-called mistake of ours something that we actually want to do ? ‘ हम ने क्या ये निर्णय ले
लिया है कि हम बार बार गलती ही करेंगे …’ We tend to forget that by doing so we are harming ourselves the most – ‘बार बार गलती करने से हमारा ही नुकसान होता है…’
We, should, at such times, consider the consequences of the mistakes made by us. And, we must put ourselves in the shoes of those who suffer from our repeated mistakes. We will gradually realise that we do not want to be someone who causes harm or suffering – either to others or to ourselves. A decision – a promise to oneself – to not repeat our mistakes – will, without any doubt, motivate us to change ; to improve ourselves – not only for our own betterment , but , for the sake of others too.Such a process is very demanding and requires us to be patient with ourselves – as getting over a bad habit – of any kind – is a very difficult task. But, we must look at such endeavours as spiritual endeavours – as when we take a firm decision – ‘ जब हम ये निश्चय करते है कि आगे से हमारे ‘निर्णय’, हमारे ‘फ़ैसले’ ऐसे नही होंगे जो कि बार – बार हम से गलती करवाऐ …’ no one could be happier than our Creator – on seeing His child make an honest, earnest attempt to turn into a new leaf.