[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.
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