Don’t Walk by a Mistake

By | September 12, 2023

[September 12, 2023]  There’s an old saying in the U.S. military, “Don’t walk by a mistake.”   The reason is that a leader who ignores a mistake lowers their standards and says it is acceptable not to follow military policies, guidance, or basic rules and procedures.  This is, they note, the first step toward an undisciplined and useless military force.  They are right.  But there are also other significant reasons not to walk by a mistake.

Far too often, we find it easier to let little things slide.  In the military, that decision can have a fatal outcome.  The parachute rigger who overlooks a final check of a newly folded parachute can miss an improper fold, leading to the chute not opening correctly and avoidable death.  Recognizing a mistake, whether big or small, and holding people responsible can save lives, money, and infrastructure.

Walking by a mistake is also the same as lying.  And, as I have addressed countless times, lying is a form of irresponsible behavior with zero long-term advantage to the liar or those being told a lie.  A lie is also a distortion of that person’s being.  Tell enough lies, and you become something you are not, and in the future, you will wonder what happened and why your life is so miserable.

I understand that we shy away from correcting mistakes because we don’t want the confrontational aspect of it.  Yet, when we have others correct us, then we are forced to be our true, honest selves.  As Dr. Jordan Peterson and I have noted, we outsource our sanity.  If others are no longer correcting us, especially on the small things, we can quickly spin out of control.

Unsurprisingly, many Hollywood stars are addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, and pornography.  No one in their ” friends ” circle will tell them otherwise.  Stars attract sycophants who tell them what they want.  That is not a good way to live.

Don’t walk by a mistake.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

16 thoughts on “Don’t Walk by a Mistake

  1. Janice Williamson

    Exactly but today we are taught to walk by a mistake because it is not a “mistake” but a feature of “good people.” So fat people are skinny.
    Stupid people are smart.
    Nasty people are polite.
    Sad suicidal people are really happy ….. yeah, right.

  2. Patriot Wife

    Once again, Gen. S. has given us something to think about. There is more to telling others about their mistakes (of course, there is the right way to do it) and being an ass. Just be yourself and tell them. Be honest. Be also careful because too many folks have been told lies their whole lives and believe those lies so deeply that correcting them only sets them off emotionally and they will fight you. This is, of course, the sign of a weak person and America today is full of weak people.

    1. Jeff Blackwater

      And this is why I keep reading Gen. Satterfield’s blog. It is worth the few minutes to do so.

  3. Yiddy of Macedonia

    Gen. Satterfield wrote, “There’s an old saying in the U.S. military, “Don’t walk by a mistake.” The reason is that a leader who ignores a mistake lowers their standards and says it is acceptable not to follow military policies, guidance, or basic rules and procedures. This is, they note, the first step toward an undisciplined and useless military force. They are right. ” This tells us a lot about how to exist well as a human. Even if you don’t know why this is the case, just follow the rules and you will be okay. Thank you, Gen. Satterfield for what you do for us. Oh, love you book “55 Rules for a Good Life.”

  4. Marx and Groucho

    “Walking by a mistake is the same as lying.” Wow, very profound, Gen. Satterfield. Your reasoning is spot on. Thanks.

    1. Wild Bill

      Thinking the same thing. Marx and Groucho (great moniker BTW), you are on it. This is the key sentence in the entire article and one of the best lines from Gen. Satterfield in a while. I think he wrote this because too many folks think that lying is okay (like a 5 year old thinks its okay). But it is not just morally wrong but practically wrong because the lie will haunt you for the rest of your life and help kick up problems that will be traced directly back to your conscious decision to lie. Those that make a habit of lying are weak mentally. The more you lie the weaker you become. The lesson, tell the truth and be strong.

  5. Ursala J. Simpson

    This is the MO of politicians, leftists, Marxists, and crazies. All the rest of us understand.

    1. Frank Graham

      .. you forgot Hollywood stars (Gen. Satterfield even made a note of them). Crazies are everywhere and please don’t plan on changing their mind set because they are superior to you and me; just ask, they will tell you so and put you in prison if you disagree.

    2. Oakie from OK

      And Democrat Party members. Like Mark Steyn said (I think it was Mark) that liberals are mentally ill ……. all of them. Makes a lot of sense.

      1. Greg NH

        Aren’t we having fun now slamming crazies. Like shooting fish in a barrel, it is easy to see what the crazies are doing. And all of you forgot college snowflakes (includes students, admin, and their HR depts). So, please don’t leave them out because they are proud of it. Don’t believe me, just ask any of them and they will also tell you they are against free speech because free speech is violence, don’t ya know.

          1. Wendy Holmes

            Right, and this is why it is important to read the leadership forum provided by Gen. Satterfield. If you don’t beleive me, then read his books.
            “55 Rules for a Good Life”
            “Our Longest Year in Iraq”

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