Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mistakes Are the Best Teachers

All of you who never made a mistake, line up over there.

Never cut a corner? Never told a lie? Never did something you later regretted?

Then I submit you've never really learned much from life.

Right now, a lot of big-league ballplayers are getting the chance to learn some big-time lessons, courtesy of the Mitchell Report. Some players, of course, are choosing to stonewall. Others are using the report as a chance to come clean.

Cynics are noting that those who are coming forward to acknowledge their drug use are almost unanimously saying they only did it once or twice--a variation on the "I didn't inhale" theme. And the same cynics are quick to point out that many of these guys were previously steadfast in denying they'd ever done wrong.

I say, "so what?" If a Brian Roberts or an F.P. Santangelo or an Andy Pettite is willing to acknowledge a mistake, shouldn't we be willing to accept the apology and move on? What if every mistake you'd ever made was held against you forever? The only lesson you'd learn from that would be to keep on covering up.

As the eminent philosopher Tom Bodett puts it, "The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson."

School's out.

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