Hello everyone. It’s me, Ollie. And James and I are back from our walk for the day. Some say spring is around the corner, and boy am I glad. Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice any time of year, and I love being outside. But once it gets warmer, James will go on longer walks with me.
Gosh! I think I may have made a mistake. I didn’t mean to imply that James doesn’t stay outside with me for nice long walks during the winter. No, I didn’t. But it sure sounded like that. Wow! I hope James knows I’m sorry. (A treat! Yeah, he does. I’m so lucky to have him. Another treat – a double score!)
What is a mistake? Well, it took me some time to recognize one, what with my peeing and pooping inside for the first couple of months of my life. Once I figured out that doing my business inside was not appropriate, I realized every time I did that it was a mistake. Sure, as James says, “Mistakes happen.” We learn to live with them. But this kind of mistake is only one of the many we can make. Call this one a physical mistake. Humans make physical mistakes when they use their bodies or a projectile to hurt another.
The other types of mistakes are verbal, like when I’m barking in the car. That is so rude. I rarely do it, but sometimes I forget. People say things they don’t mean, or are only kidding; but when someone takes it the wrong way, well, it becomes a mistake. James has made his fair share of these kinds of mistakes, like when he teased a friend about his weight. James thought they were better friends, and certainly didn’t see anything wrong with the weight they were, so saying something about not seeing where he’d lost the weight didn’t appear to James to be hurtful. But it evidently was. Especially when another friend of his said she’d be pissed if he’d said that to her. It only took that little bit of support for this to have been taken the wrong way.
Another type of mistake is mental. Like when I think something that is hurtful, even if it isn’t barked out loud. I’d really like to catch a chipmunk or bird, and even dream about it. But James has told me that it would be a mistake since all I’d do is harm the other animal. If I were able to eat them, then that would be different. But I don’t need to eat them, so even thinking about it is a mistake. When humans wish harm on someone else, they are making a mistake – at least that’s what James says. After all, you are only human, and humans make mistakes. Believe me, your loving companions know. There is also the mental manipulation of another that is always a mistake. This can be one of the most harmful since it involves mind games.
So why do we make mistakes? James says it’s usually because humans aren’t thinking about what either comes out of their mouths or from their bodies or minds. Had you thought about it, even for a short period, the mistake probably wouldn’t have happened. Closely related are the innocent mistakes, like James’ weight comment. He thought it would be okay to ask where the weight had been lost since he thought it was funny. But the person who had lost the weight didn’t think it was funny, especially after receiving the support from the other friend. This is what James calls an innocent mistake. It was intended otherwise, but found itself in the error column.
There are people out there who want to control others. They employ a mental abuse system. It involves trying to manipulate someone mentally, perpetrated by a self-centered person, and the one being abused ends up hurting and usually not knowing why, at least initially. Yet once they figure it out, watch out. The poop will hit the fan.
Two other types of mistakes both dogs and humans make are closely related. One is made because of jealousy and the other is committed because of meanness. When I see another dog with a bone, I get jealous and try to take it away from them. This is a mistake, especially if the other dog is bigger than me. (Okay, James didn’t like that excuse. He’s right. It doesn’t matter the size of the other dog.) Jealousy is simply not a nice thing, and often leads to mistakes in judgement. So my jealousy led me to a mean act — that of trying to take the bone away. If you’ve ever tried to take a bone away from another dog, you know what I’m barking about. People also get jealous and do mean things – and these are mistakes.
Do you sometimes not realize you’re making a mistake? This is something that can happen at any time, and, unfortunately often does among friends. These are usually either mental or verbal mistakes, and they are usually based on jealousy or innocence. So long as we recognize that what we’ve thought or said is a mistake, and take appropriate action to correct the mistake, things should be okay. But they aren’t always, now are they?
How did you and those impacted by your mistake end up feeling? Usually when it is a mental mistake, no one knows but the dog (or human) who was having the inappropriate thought(s). In this case, whomever it is having those mental mistakes should recognize that those thoughts are wrong, and try to no longer have them. However, if a verbal or physical mistake is made, an apology is required. A simple, “I’m sorry,” has been known to work wonders, especially among friends. Yet not all dogs (or people) have been known to accept an apology. The person James thought was a good friend has never forgiven him, even though he has apologized multiple times. As such, James can no longer call him his friend. It took James quite a long time to get over the regret he has felt from having made that mistake.
Yet this does not mean when a mistake is made one should not apologize. Those adults (whether dog or human) who receive a sincere apology will, as grownups, accept it from their friend(s) and continue with them being a part of their lives. Friendship is like a marriage that needs to be cultivated. And it is usually friends who make mistakes towards other friends since they see and talk to one another so frequently. But when someone refuses to accept your apology, you must continue to love yourself for you are only human (or a dog).
How did you feel afterwards? After you’ve made a mistake, there are multiple ways in which you might feel, depending upon the severity of the mistake. These feelings range from evil to stupid. If you did something dangerous or physically harmful, you may come to realize that your actions were evil. Yet if the mistake was an innocent one, you may simply feel stupid.
Once you have come to terms with the fact that you’ve made a mistake, you may at any time feel as if it wasn’t a mistake (denial); angry at yourself for having been so stupid or evil, or angry at the person who mistook your innocent comment as an error; and then depressed that the mistake has resulted in something you never intended. It is then that you will most likely feel sorry for both the other party and yourself. The unintended action resulting in the unintended reaction has known to not only be detrimental to friends, but to nations as well.
James and I would like to know if you’ve ever made a mistake. If you have, what kind was it? That is if you’d feel comfortable sharing the details. Perhaps it was a different type from what I’ve listed above. If so, please tell us. Also, what did you do and how did you feel after you made this mistake?
I always like hearing from you, so please feel free to leave a comment on this blog post about this or anything at all.
Until next week when Mistakes Part II will address writing mistakes,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)
Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2016 unless otherwise indicated